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I've already asked a question about taxes in Australia (as I'm an expat there) and there are several others. However, there's been some dissent about whether or not these are expat questions or not.

I'm torn. In some respects it's a VERY common issues all expats have to deal with, but then again, it's also just a topic that every citizen has to deal with.

So the question - should we allow tax questions to be on topic?

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If the tax question is complicated by someone's status of being an expat, then yes - I'd be inclined to allow it. But you have to watch out for it.

As an expat, who should I pick to do my US taxes?

.. that's bad.

I have a question about the US expat deduction and earned income credit

... that's equally on-topic here and on Money. Either site could have someone with experience taking the deduction, or someone that just happens to know a lot about taxes. It's up to the author where they put it, and we should respect that.

What is a mutual 'no double tax' treaty and how do I deal with it while filling out all this darn paperwork?

Definitely on-topic, recent treaties now require people to file in two places, yet pay in one. Yet many are delightfully ambiguous. Last year you didn't have to file in the country that you reside, this year, you might, but depending - can they make it any harder?

I have a question about earned income credit (that isn't complicated by being an expat)

... Off topic -> Tell them we do entertain some financial questions, but they need to have this sort of bizarre twist due to being an expatriate.

  • Complicated by one's status as an expat, or unique to expats (see my answer below) – Scott Earle Mar 26 '14 at 14:59
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    This and absolutely this. And not just taxes. Pension payments. National health insurance. Unemployment insurance. All of these can be horribly complicated by being an expat. Asking on personal finance is like asking your local accountant. Asking on here would be like asking an accountant who serves expats. Sure they're both accountants, but that doesn't mean you'll get the same answer! – jmac Mar 31 '14 at 5:01
  • @jmac That's precisely it. We have a very unique field of specialization with a body of knowledge that one might not find among accountants, frequent flyers, workplace-ians, etc. If a question doesn't really exercise that particular specialization, then you'll probably get better answers on a different site. – Tim Post Mar 31 '14 at 6:38
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Those topics are extremally important, I would even say, of primarily importance to expatriates. The risk of dual taxation or misunderstanting of tax system implications can completely ruin your plans with working abroad.

I don't know exactly how good Personal Finance would handle such questions, but the expacts are the most likely to be experts in that domain. Your situation as 'native' is in most cases most different to your situation as 'expat', when it comes to availability of financial instruments etc. For example,

Please don't close such questions in batch, but gently move them and wait for reaction. For example, an expat issue is to form a small company, for example for contracting purposes (or to hire 2-3 people). Would such issues be welcomed on Personal Finance? They are surely expat issues, but are there Personal Finance anymore? (even if the company is of personal type).

  • We don't have a lot of EU-based expats at money@SE, you're welcome to join. But when talking about the US, Canada, Australia and India - we've got quite a few very well informed hi-reps (myself included) there. – littleadv Mar 16 '14 at 6:17
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Here in Thailand, there is a scheme for for foreign companies that have offices in several countries in the region, but who have their HQ in Thailand - whereby foreign staff (by definition expatriates) pay a lower flat tax rate, but with no deductibles. Questions about that scheme or similar schemes elsewhere would (in my opinion) be on-topic, as they apply explicitly to expats and not to anyone else.

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There's vast amount of information on taxes, including for expats, on money@SE. Keeping it here would provide for duplicates and wouldn't benefit the OP. I would suggest moving tax-related questions to money@SE - thus exposing both sites to each other, and keeping apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

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    I'd appreciate at least a comment from the downvoter... – littleadv Mar 31 '14 at 8:41

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