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The focus is on international tax manager Kristen Howze


Our Spotlight series highlights the careers and lives of tax professionals across the globe.

In the spotlight this week is registered agent Kristen Howze. Howze is an American citizen living and working in Europe. After spending eight years in the Netherlands, she now lives in Switzerland. Her house sounds busy: She is married to a teenage girl, a mixed husky dog, a cat and lots of fish.

What is your official title and what does it mean? My title is Tax Manager, International Tax Services. Since we opened a branch office in Lausanne, Switzerland, this means more than ever. I take care of my clients’ tax preparation and planning, Lausanne office management, marketing and local contact to bring in new businesses, and I write blogs about common issues and questions I see.

Free time: book, audiobook or podcast? All those. I listen to audio books and podcasts while walking the dog or doing housework, and in particular, I really like podcasts on behavioral economics. I prefer books in the evenings and on weekends.

Taxation is a big topic. What is your area of ​​particular interest? US tax on American persons living outside the US like me. I help people who have fallen out of compliance or were unaware of the unique brand of U.S. citizenship-based taxes, which is different from most other countries.

I also specialize in assisting foreign nationals entering the US and American persons deciding to emigrate. Whenever I hear an American person with a non-American spouse applying for a green card, I want to shout, Wait! Talk to me first to make sure you do not unnecessarily complicate your tax situation in the US. Navigating a tax system is difficult, but navigating the tax laws of many countries certainly adds another layer of complexity. My goal is to identify discrepancies in tax treatment and help my clients optimize their tax positions for both the US and their country of residence.

What is the last movie or show you saw and liked (DVD, Netflix or in the theater)? When I think about what I have seen recently, my Octapod Teacher really stands out from the others.

Which college did you attend and what did you study? I attended Penn State and Arizona State universities, where I earned my Bachelor of Science degree. My favorite field of study was statistics and I took as many statistics courses as they offered.

Go-to-me-up: Coffee or tea? Mostly coffee, with cream and sugar, from French Press, please.

What is the best tax or financial advice anyone has ever given you? When I was in my early 20s, my mentor impressed me about the importance of retirement savings. I did not take it to heart at the time, but in retrospect, increasing my retirement savings earlier would have had a huge impact.

Recently, the advantages of not always getting a treaty position, just because it is available. For example, if you live in a foreign country where the employee and employer pension contributions may be excluded and / or deducted from gross compensation, such as treatment 401 (k) in the US, you may be able to establish a pension base. foreigner, taking advantage of you along the way.

If you were not working in the tax profession, what would be your dream job? I like to be a mountain guide and lead multi-day hiking and / or skiing expeditions. If I did not stray too far from my current lane, I would use my tax and ex-patent skills proactively: Cross-border financial planning is attractive because it can have a really positive impact. Global mobility and global relocation assistance are also interesting to me.

If you had the opportunity to make a change in the additional world tax credit, a prohibited deduction, what would it be? I will support large-scale tax reform for Americans living abroad. They are often subject to very difficult, complex and confusing requirements for submission and reporting. U.S. citizens abroad have advocated residence-based taxation and same-country exemptions for reporting international information as FBAR.

Favorite food, snack or sweets during the tax season or another busy time? Butter popcorn and in my opinion France makes butter the best.

What news or tax moves have had the most impact on your practice or clients in the past year? Credit for Economic Impact Payments and Recovery Discounts. Both present significant barriers for those living outside the U.S. EIP lost in the international mail, and for those who received them, found it difficult to obtain them in cash. Americans find it really difficult to use IRS tools, such as registering for an online account.

If you were to get a big tax refund check now, what would you do with it? Save half, use the other half for trips and scuba diving.

Find Howze on LinkedIn and read more about Howzes Company, KLR, at its website.

If you would like to recommend a tax professional to come forward, send your suggestion to with the theme: Spotlight. Please include the following information: name of tax professional, title, email address and geographical area (city / state / country).




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