Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Registering to Vote and submitting a ballot is fast, easy, and can be done from anywhere in the world - even Mexico!

Start by confirming your voter registration with your state.  Some states require absentee voters to register annually so you may need to re-register.  Go to to connect to your state’s voter portal to register to vote, request a ballot, and more.  Once you confirm your registration, follow a few simple steps to vote in the 2020 U.S. elections:

1.   Request Your Ballot: Most states provide the option to request ballots through their state election portals, which you can easily access via  You can also choose to complete a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  FPCA forms that are correctly filled out and include a signature and date are accepted by all local election officials in every U.S. state and territory.  FVAP’s easy online assistant can assist you with completing the FPCA.  Whether you request your ballot through your state’s portal or the FPCA, we encourage you to select the option for receiving your ballot electronically (by email, internet download, or fax) when available.  This is the fastest way for you to get your ballot and ensures you have it in time to return a completed form before your state’s deadline. 

2.   Receive and Complete Your Ballot:  States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  Most states allow you to confirm your ballot delivery online.

3.   Return Your Completed, Signed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically and others do not.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through U.S. Consulate General Tijuana’s diplomatic pouch.  The diplomatic pouch provides free mail service from embassies and consulates to a U.S. sorting facility.  You will need to place your ballots in postage paid return envelopes or in envelopes bearing sufficient U.S. postage, in order for them to be delivered to the proper local election authorities.  If using the diplomatic pouch, ballots can be dropped off to the American Citizen Services section by October 20, 2020, during normal operating hours  between 7:30 am and 4:15 pm.  Please note that all visitors to the Consulate are subject to security screening and you will not be permitted to bring electronic devices, including cell phones, inside the facility.  Please note that it can take up to four weeks for mail to reach its destination if sent by an embassy or consulate via diplomatic pouch.  All overseas U.S. citizens are advised to submit their forms and ballots accordingly.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Go to the FVAP links page for helpful resources to aid your research of candidates and issues.  Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain on-line.  You can also read national and hometown newspapers on-line, or search the internet to locate articles and information.  For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP's Voting Alerts ( FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook (@DODFVAP), Twitter (@FVAP), and Instagram (@fvapgov).

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) website,  If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Consulate General Tijuana at

Within Mexico:  01-664-977-2000
From the United States:  1-301-985-8665

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Skype or Telephone Consultations Concerning Your US Expat and International Taxes By an Attorney and CPAs available abroad

 If you have specific tax questions on: 

  • US Expatriate taxation
  • US Nonresident Taxation
  • US International Taxation
  • Doing business in the US as a nonresident
  • Reducing your US taxes when living abroad.
  • IRS or State Tax Collections Problems
  • Coordinating your Mexico taxes with your US taxes

You can discuss your situation with a US expatriate international tax expert Attorney , with the protection of  Attorney-Client privilege by requesting a "Mini Consultation."   A Mini Consultation costs  $300US for up to 30 minutes of Mr. Don Nelson's professional legal tax advice over the phone, or by skype or email.  No need to visit his office.

  If  you send us an outline of your  factual situation and questions in advance, he can  prepare in advance for the consultation which makes the consultation extremely effective and efficient  and usually resolves all of your questions  within the time allowed. Over 1,000  expat taxpayers and nonresidents located everywhere in the world  have used "Mini Consultations" to solve their tax problems and issues with great success.  Our US Phone is (949) 480-1235. US Fax (949) 606-9627 or you can talk on my skype at  dondnelson (skype address) . Email don at :  US International Tax Expert Attorney. Consultations are also available on WhatsApp.  

Payment can  be made by credit card, echeck, paypal, or wire transfer. If your questions or problems are URGENT let us know and we can often schedule your mini consultation on the same day.  DOWNLOAD A MINI CONSULTATION ENGAGEMENT AGREEMENT TO START NOW.

Don D. Nelson, International Tax Attorney at Law
Partner Kauffman Nelson LLP , Certified Public Accountants
Huntington Beach, California, USA

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

SAT is Verifying Compliance with Tax Requirements on Rental Income.

SAT, the Secretary of Attention to Taxpayers, the equivalent of the US – IRS, Internal Revenue Service, and Canada’s CRA Canadian Revenue Agency, is reviewing social media sites, including Air BnB and VRBO, to determine who is offering property for rent and who is receiving unreported income.

Evasion of tax is a criminal offense. Articles 150 to 178 of the Fiscal Code provide for imprisonment of up to six years for evasion of taxes. Not only is it a criminal offense but the taxpayer must pay the past due taxes and very substantial interest penalties which amount to 1.3% per month, compounded. Unless taxes and accrued penalties are paid in a timely manner the property can be seized and put up for auction. Additionally, in a reform of Article 118 of the Fiscal Code, no landlord may demand payment of past due rent in the courts without submitting proof of tax compliance.

The Mexican government has decreed that income generated from the rent of a Mexican property is due and payable in Mexico, regardless of where the income is received. And it is getting very serious in its efforts to collect this tax and to punish those who evade payment, whether through intention or ignorance. SAT has determined ignorance is not a legitimate excuse. This growing issue and omission now represents a glaring 1% of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product. Mexican authorities are anxious to correct this shortfall.

There are programs in place for both Residents in Mexico and Non-Residents of Mexico, to declare and pay the lawful taxes which include both the tax on income (ISR) and, in the case of a unfurnished rental, the 16% added value tax (IVA). Realistically there is no way to legally avoid declaring and payment of these taxes. To continue to evade this responsibility will put the affected property at risk.

And the good news, due to Mexico’s tax treaties with 32 countries, double taxation is never an issue.

For details on how to clean up your tax obligation and proceed, please contact Read more about the Mexican income and iva taxes on rental income at If you wish to discuss your situation and how to resolve it with a US Attorney with expertise in Mexico taxes EMAIL US TAX ATTORNEY

Thursday, December 19, 2019

2019 Year End Tax Planning for US Expatriate Taxpayers in Mexico

Our year end  2019 Expatriate Tax Planning Letter can be read and downloaded here (pdf file).  Read it to learn of tax law changes for 2019 and possible planning steps you can take before year end to save you money.

If you want to get started early on your 2019 expatriate tax return you can download our 2019 Expatriate Tax Questionnaire HERE. (MS word file )  After you fill it out send it to us for a fee quote and fast preparation.

If you have  US expatriate, international or US nonresident tax questions email us by clicking HERE

Our firm CPAs and Attorney have been assisting Americans with their US taxes in Mexico for over 25 years. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

SAT goes after landlords for not declaring rental income

By John Glabb CIPS - The Settlement Company 
SAT will begin inspecting landlords to ensure that they meet their tax obligations 
There has recently been a crackdown in tourist beach communities, many homeowners that use their property as vacation rentals have received notice to ensure they are registered as rentals and claim the income they are receiving. Most rentals are listed on social media or Airbnb, making it easy for the government officials to find properties being used as a rental. It is not unheard of for authorities to base taxes and penalties on a perceived rental income by using the area’s occupancy rate, which will be much more expensive for you in the end.
According to the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), the evasion of ISR by lease represents 0.1% of GDP. In addition, according to a study by the University of the Americas Puebla, in 2016 the rate of evasion of natural persons who obtain income from leasing was 73.5%. To combat this, the Treasury implemented a reform that has already entered into force to inspect landlords.
Landlords must verify that they have been issuing CFDI for income from rentals. When a tenant does not pay the rent and a lease trial is reached, the judge will ask the landlord to show you the CFDIs that protect your income. If you do not prove them, the judge must notify the SAT no later than five days after the deadline.
The reform will change Article 118 of the Law of the ISR to be as follows:
“In the case of real estate lease judgments in which the lessee is ordered to pay the overdue income, the judicial authority shall require the creditor to verify that he issued the tax receipts referred to in this section. In the event that the creditor does not prove to have Once these vouchers have been issued, the judicial authority must inform the Tax Administration Service of the omission mentioned within a maximum period of five days from the expiration of the period granted by the judicial authority to the creditor to comply with the requirement.
According to some specialists, the proposal could achieve more revenue and an increase in the rental price. According to Arturo Rosales, director of finance at Homie, prices will increase due to legal processes.
For years foreign property owners have not paid their rental income taxes. Vacation property income seemed to fall under the radar of taxable income in Mexico, until recently.
Whether you are investing in Mexico, doing business in Mexico or retiring in Mexico, you need to learn about the Mexican tax system. Consult a tax attorney in Mexico when you make an investment purchase or rent out your home.
The Federal Government expects foreign owners to follow the Mexican tax laws that come with owning property investments in Mexico.  Any rental property in Mexico, whether it is just a small suite or a luxury condominium, whether you rent it part-time and live there part-time or you rent it full time, these tax laws apply. Many foreign homeowners in Mexico are not complying with the laws, whether they choose not to, because they think anything goes in Mexico, or they are not aware of the Mexican tax laws and tax system. The reality is you can not escape taxes, no matter where you live. Avoiding these laws will put their homes at risk.


Property owners that do not comply with these laws may lose their rights as the property owner, face possible jail time, fines, deportation from Mexico and forced sale of the property.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Consider Forming a Mexican Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL) when Incorporation Your Business or Rental in Mexico

When you decide to incorporate your business or rental property in Mexico and you are a US taxpayer it is wise to consider making your Mexican corporation a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S. de R.L. ).  rather than the more common  Sociedad Anonima de Capital Variable, (SA de C.V.).  One offers great advantages on your US tax return due to the "Check the Box" regulations (IRS Form  8832). Most Mexican attorneys and accountants  are not familar with the advantages of a S. de R.L. and recommend the other type of corporation.

Advantages of using an S. de R.L :

1. Allows losses and profits  of the corporation to flow through to your personal US return (avoids double taxation)
2. Allows you to claim a foreign tax credit on your US return for all Mexican income taxes paid by your corporation in Mexico.
3. Avoids the new US GILTI tax which causes owners of Controlled Foreign Corporations to have to pay taxes on part of the corporations profits even if they are not distributed to you.

We can help you structure your Mexican business or real estate in the optimum manner for your US tax return and to save taxes.  Please email us with your questions or to set up a planning session.  We can also then do the return.  EMAIL US  We have been assisting US Gringos in Mexico with their US tax returns for over 20 years.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Gringos - Who Will Inherit your Property In Mexico

If  you as a nonresident American or Canadian  have property in Mexico, and you pass on, it is important you take steps to make certain your Mexico property goes to those you wish.  If you fail to make a Mexican Will or hope to use your US will, it will be time consuming and expensive for your heirs. You need a Mexican will to pass on property to your heirs with efficiency and low cost.  To learn more READ THIS

If you are living in Mexico, and you have property in the USA, you definitely need a US will and very likely need a US living trust to avoid probate (time consuming and expensive) and keep your estate private. We can help you with your US estate planning and the documents required.  Email us at  Get the combined expertise of a US CPA firm and a US attorney