Well, taxes at any rate...
I was quite nervous about taxes for 2007 as this is a partial year in Kuwait for us. Well, we just got our taxes done by ExpatCPA and I've mailed them off. So let me give you the breakdown:
First, they filed an exemption request form to extend our *filing* date for 2007 to Dec 2008. This is to make sure we can meet the Bona Fide resident test for the overseas income exclusion for money earned overseas. Interesting thing is, along with this goes the check for our 2007 Federal taxes...because although we can extend the *filing* deadline, you cannot extend the deadline to *pay* taxes. So we *had* to pay taxes before April 15, but we actually *file* in December 2008. Of course, they handle all the timing of this too.
The 1040 was filled out with the stateside work information, and there was an additional foreign income exclusion form with lots of worksheets that made me very glad I didn't have to do it myself.
They also did our state taxes (Oregon), and it is good to know that Oregon will abide by the federal extension and exclusions.
ExpatCPA has been *mostly* good so far, with some exceptions. The number one thing I appreciate about them is that they have been willing to work with my prickly nature, even if they have made some misteps along the way. First, I selected them because they use a 3rd party secure (SSL) website for entering all the needed information. Once done, they download the info and fill out the tax forms. Unfortunately, at one point I had forgotten my password, so I emailed them requesting an account unlock. They then sent me an email telling me my account had been unlocked, as well as my password in plain text. I had used one of my financial tier passwords and this necessitate that I reset all of my financial website passwords. The person who did this accepted my criticism with appropriate contrition and said he wouldn't do that again. Later, when I needed to send scans of my W-2s, they were kind enough to work with me and utilize FilesAnywhere.com to securely transfer the files. All was great, until they sent me the final pdfs...which they emailed to me! Apparently, they don't see the problem with transmitting documents containing private information such as social security numbers and financial information via an insecure medium such as email. Again, they responded well to my issues and worked with me to change the method for sending the updated docs back to me. They charged about $650 total for the Federal and State ($100 or so for state), which is a pretty good median price. I've seen everything from $30 to $1000, so $650 for peace of mind isn't so bad.
In the process, I asked them if because I had to pay some taxes for last year, didn't I have to pay estimated quarterly taxes for 2008? They said, uh...yeah...and made me out some nice coupons. I spent some time figuring out if I could withhold money from my paycheck in lieu of paying quarterly, but eventually just decided to withhold the money myself and pay the estimated taxes. There will be plenty left over in the taxes fund for anything else that I owe at the end of 2008.
So all in all, feeling pretty good about it now, which is great cuz I was quite worried about it before.