gemms #1 best certified public accountants united states of america





When working with us, your returns are prepared by a Certified Public Accountant that has on average 20 years of experience. With GEMMS one of our partners will take the time to understand you and your tax situation.

Working with a professional with our level of experience provides several advantages to you:

  • We will ask probing questions to make sure that every deduction is considered
  • We will be able to answer any questions that you have about your returns
  • We can make sure that you are asking the right questions

GEMMS also goes beyond simply preparing your returns. We provide more value for your dollar:

  • We provide planning tips and advice for the upcoming year.
  • We are open all year, we do not close down after April 15th.
  • We provide a Daily News feed, Blog, and Monthly Newsletter so that you can stay current with tax changes as they happen.

We provide all of these advantages and benefits to you for a fee that is similar to and/or lower than what a national tax preparation chain (i.e. a Fast-Tax Strip Mall type chain) charges.

Don’t believe us??? Here is a video made by CBS (->Link) that compared using Certified Public Accountants against the national tax preparation chains.  In this report, using the tax professionals created the biggest refund, provided more value, and in one case, at a lower cost.

  • Individual Income Tax Preparation
  • Preparation and filing of Extensions
  • Extension Calculation
  • Preparation of Estimated Tax Preparation Vouchers
  • Estimate Tax Calculation
  • Review and defense against the IRS audits and/or notices
  • Assisting delinquent filers prepare prior year returns and get caught up
  • Many others

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Are you going on an international assignment and are unsure if your accountant is experienced enough to maximize the benefits available to you on your tax return? Has your international assignment come to an end and has your employer cut off all tax preparation services?

Have your income tax returns been prepared by a large public accounting firm during your assignment and now they will continue to prepare your returns for an EXCESSIVE fee? Are you concerned that a small accounting firm may not have the experience to recognize the intricacies and nuances of an international tax return? Do you require some assurance you are receiving the right type of service at a fair rate?

Chuck Heyde leads our tax group and has approximately 10 years of “Big 4? experience preparing and consulting on expatriate and inpatriate tax returns. Additionally, since our rates are comparable to most local tax firms, you can take comfort in employing our international expertise at reasonable rates.

For more detailed information, to contact us or to book a meeting with us please click the button below.



The final component of the assignment is compliance with all related taxing authorities. Our Atlanta practice has dedicated expatriate and inpatriate tax specialists who can provide significant value added services, should you require.

  • Research and respond to the assignees on all income tax planning and compliance issues or problems.
  • Research and respond to the assignees on all international compensation related issues or problems.
  • Provide U.S. “Entrance, Exit, and Repatriation Interviews” from the tax perspective.
  • Prepare tax equalization and/or tax reconciliation calculations.
  • Prepare U.S. individual tax returns.
  • Coordinate the preparation of Non-U.S. individual tax returns.
  • Resolve tax deficiency notices.

Additionally, since our rates are comparable to most local tax firms, your assignees could take comfort in employing our international expertise at reasonable rates.

For more detailed information, to contact us or to book a meeting with us please click the button below.



GEMMS understands the challenges Missionaries and other Non-Profit Organizations face. As such, we place high importance on Community help and outreach. Since GEMMS’ specialty involves individual international taxation, Missionaries and other Non-Profit Assignees can certainly benefit from our services. GEMMS has provided tax preparation and consulting services to Missionaries as well as other Non-Profit Organizations such as CARE and Habitat for Humanity.

  • U.S. Missionaries and Non-Profit Assignees often earn much less than the Foreign Earned Income and Housing Exclusions of $91K+. Therefore, Missionaries often do not think they have to file their US Tax Returns. However, this is not the case. The fact is, US citizens and residents that earn more than their standard deduction and personal exemptions are required to file a US tax return. Although filing of the return will often result in NO tax liability, there is still a requirement of filing the return to prove to the US Internal Revenue Service there is no tax liability. Untimely filing of federal tax returns could result in losing the Foreign Earned Income and Housing Exclusion and other deductions.

    This is where GEMMS steps in. We would like to assist you with these filing requirements. Therefore, we offer very special rates to all Missionaries and Non-Profit organizations.

Read more about Missionary Taxes here:

Please ask about our discounted rates.



Generally speaking, military contractors working abroad must follow the same rules as civilian US citizens who work abroad. They must report all of their worldwide income on their US expat taxes, they will likely be eligible for an automatic extension of time to file until mid-June, and they may qualify to exclude some of their foreign earned income from US taxation. However, it’s important to realize that there are strict distinctions between military contractors and military employees/armed forces personnel. The latter qualify for numerous tax benefits for which military contractors are ineligible.

One of the most important issues facing military contractors is their eligibility for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). Being eligible for the FEIE allows a US taxpayer to exclude $90K of foreign earned income from their US expat taxes (adjusted annually for inflation). The FEIE is claimed by filing Form 2555 with your US expat taxes. However, to qualify you must have a “tax home” in a foreign country and meet one of following two tests:

  •  Physical Presence Test: You must be abroad for at least 330 days in a 365 day period. The 330 days must be full 24-hour days, and not partial days. Also, the 365-day period can be any period prior to the filing date of your tax return. This means that additional extension(s) to file your tax return can be requested in order to help you qualify for this test. As always, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay and all of your US tax liability must be paid to the IRS by April 15th. If your 330-day period includes only a portion of the tax year, then your FEIE will be prorated according to a ratio of number of days in the qualifying period divided by 365.
  •  Bona Fide Residence Test: This test is met by establishing a permanent residence in a foreign country and maintaining it for a least a full calendar year. Your intention must be to reside in the foreign country for an indefinite period of time.

 You can establish a “tax home” by having a primary place of business in a foreign country and by intending to keep that place of business for at least a year. This means that going overseas on a temporary assignment expected to last less than a year would preclude you from qualifying for the FEIE. In the event you do not qualify for FEIE, all of your income will continue to be taxable in the US.

Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) exist between some host and foreign countries that provide military support stationed in the host country. Some of these SOFA agreements provide visiting US citizens exclusion from taxation in the host countries. By qualifying for exclusion of host country taxation under a SOFA agreement, you are saying that you are “visiting,” thus telling the IRS that you do not have a “tax home” in the foreign country. Consequently, you cannot qualify for both an exclusion from host country taxation and the FEIE on your US expat taxes.

 An income tax exemption provided in a treaty or other international agreement (i.e. SOFA) will not in itself prevent you from being a bona fide resident of a foreign country. Whether a treaty prevents you from becoming a bona fide resident of a foreign country is determined under all provisions of the treaty, including specific provisions relating to residence or privileges and immunities.

Example 1. – You are a U.S. citizen employed in the United Kingdom by a U.S. employer under contract with the U.S. Armed Forces. You are not subject to the North Atlantic Treaty Status of Forces Agreement. You may be a bona fide resident of the United Kingdom.

Example 2. – You are a U.S. citizen in the United Kingdom who qualifies as an “employee” of an armed service or as a member of a “civilian component” under the North Atlantic Treaty Status of Forces Agreement. You are not a bona fide resident of the United Kingdom.

As a taxpayer you are responsible for determining if you are covered under the SOFA or not.  If you don’t already know all you need do is ask your employer if the contract you are working on is covered under the SOFA.

 Here is a link to the current treaties in force – SOFA

Fortunately, if you don’t qualify for the FEIE under the BFR test, you can always look to the Physical Presence Test (PPT) as it only considers days outside the US – not domicile like the BFR test.

Whether you are self-employed (an independent contractor) or an employee of a civilian business under contract with the military, you will still be eligible to qualify for the FEIE. If you are an employee of the military, you will not be eligible for the FEIE, but your pay may be excludable under other tax rules (see Combat Zone Exclusion, below). As an independent contractor, you will receive a Form 1099 at the end of the year, and the income reflected on this statement will be subject to self-employment tax. Self-employment tax is not reduced by the FEIE. However, you will be eligible to deduct business expenses from the 1099 income.

If you are working overseas on April 15th, you will be eligible for an automatic two-month extension to file your tax return. As mentioned above, this is not an extension of time to pay, only an extension of time to file. You must prepare an estimate of your tax liability and pay the balance by April 15th, even though your final return need not be completed. If you need help preparing an estimate of your US expat taxes, please contact one of our tax professionals. If you do not pay your tax liability by April 15th, you will only be liable for the interest charged on the outstanding US expat tax liability.

 You can also request an additional four-month extension by filing Form 4868.

 If you need an additional time to meet the Physical Presence Test or Bona Fide Residence test, you can request a special extension via Form 2350. This request is not automatic and must be approved by the IRS.

The IRS has regulations in place that allow enlisted military personnel to exclude income earned in a “combat zone” from US expat taxation. As mentioned above, military personnel differ from military contractors. As such, military contractors are not eligible to exclude income earned in a combat zone from their US expat taxes. The IRS lists designated combat zones on their website

When you work abroad as a military contractor, you might continue to have a state filing requirement depending on your individual state’s rules and whether you have retained ties to that state. If you left the US for an assignment of longer than one year and did not have any source income to a US state during the tax year, you may not have a filing requirement. However, if you have retained a home, family, or driver’s license in the state, then you may continue to have filing requirements.

Have any questions or require more information? 




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