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About sandduene

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  • Location Germany
  • Nationality American
  1. I am wondering what advice people might have about seeking consultation from more than one tax professional specialized in the area of expat taxes and getting completely contradictory information/recommendations on country-specific German financial products regarding FBAR reporting. Is this just a grey area that these professionals often view differently? It is really confusing, especially because the consequences are potentially profound. You can see this on some of the Toytown threads regarding FBAR reporting as well; I remember one specifically where someone confidently stated both their German and U.S. accountants told them a particular type of financial product/account was not FBAR-reportable but later in the thread others recommended reporting it. 
  2. Unresponsive American consular services

    I received my new passport within less than three weeks after sending it in, and if I recall correctly actually within around two weeks. I saw the headlines about extremely long processing times several days after sending the renewal package which worried me and was pleasantly surprised at how fast it was. I did use the super fast tracked shipping method they had a link to on the embassy website (required for them to send you your new passport and recommended for sending the application packet), which probably helped. Maybe I was lucky, but in retrospect I think/hope they probably realize that for most expats abroad who aren't dual citizens there is a real need to receive a passport quickly. 
  3. Unresponsive American consular services

    I don't like the new website design much either. I am currently in the process of renewing my passport by mail and in the middle of getting everything together the design changed. On the new website there is a YouTube video titled something like "Remember Five to Keep your Passport Alive" and only there did they even state, at the very end of the video, that you can only submit your passport by mail to the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt, and not the other two locations in Germany where you can go in person. I thought it was so odd that this information wasn't written clearly somewhere. Maybe I missed it, but I read through everything several times and could only find it in the video.   I had also tried to contact them per email with several questions, but as experienced by the OP I received no reply. I had emailed in the past with a general question and received a rather prompt reply, so that did surprise me.