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CONSUMER ALERT :

On Wednesday January 18, 2013 an injunction against the IRS’s Registered Tax Return Preparer Program (RTRP)- a program initiated two years ago to strengthen the regulatory system and oversight over the tax preparation industry in an effort to protect the public- came into effect. The program included testing, minimal training requirements, continuing professional education and a background check. The RTRP was then suspended pending an Appeal to be filed by the IRS. On February 11, 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit; 13-5061 upheld or affirmed the district court decision rejecting the IRS’s RTRP, as such the RTRP remains suspended.

Note the RTRP program did not include IRS Circular 230 professionals, including CPA’s or attorneys. As we are both self regulating professions, governed by a higher moral, professional and legal authority requirement.

The AICPA, NYSSCPA’s and all major professional CPA bodies supported the creation of this program to protect the public from incompetent tax preparers and those who employ illegal tax strategies or tactics, ultimately causing their clients great financial harm. The introduction of F.A.T.C.A. and prior U.S. Treasury requirements (FBAR reporting) carry stiff penalties starting at $10,000 per omission/ error, dwarfing the cost of tax compliance.

Protax Consulting Services (Protax) remains concerned by the proliferation of unethical online U.S. Expatriate and Foreign National Nonresident Alien taxation tax preparers, offering services at eye catching initially low ‘trap’ prices in a now unregulated industry. These services include that of Enrolled Agents and other non-professionals, including third party referral companies whose owners purposely live outside the U.S. and, therefore, outside the reach of U.S. law and regulation.

Please research these websites and ask for their ‘professional’ credentials. Ensure they publish articles for your understanding, are regularly featured, quoted and published in major news networks and world renown publications, speak publically on these topics and lecture other professionals worldwide through recognized professional bodies and established professional providers.

Whomever you decide to use for the important task of preparing your U.S. income taxes, we would implore you to employ ONLY the services of a U.S. located CPA or attorney with decades of big 4 experience, specializing in the area of U.S. Expatriate and Foreign National Nonresident Alien taxation. Most local and foreign CPA’s and attorneys are not qualified in this unique U.S. international individual area of taxation.

Please make certain you ask enough tough questions, including all the buzz words, unprompted such as the housing exclusion/ deduction in addition to the regular exclusion and a discussion on the foreign tax credit. Including an understanding of the qualifying tests.

Please do your homework and remember our industry is now buyer beware! If it sounds too good to be true, it is! We urge you at this time to exercise great caution!


Protax is a leading professional services tax accounting and consulting firm specializing in the delivery of world class U.S. (United States) international individual tax accounting, consulting and compliance services to:

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U.S. Expats or Expatriates

Who qualifies for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion- Foreign, Earned Income, Stacking- Housing Exclusion or Deduction, looking at the Tax Home Test, Physical Presence Test, Bonfide Residence Test, Foreign Tax Credit and Miscellaneous issues…

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Foreign Nationals-Nonresident and/ or Resident Aliens

U.S. Residency- The Substantial Presence Test, Ways Out of Residency, Residency Start and End Dates, Dual-Status Filers, Special Elections, Closer Connection Exception, After Residency Ends, Income Tax, Social Security and/ or Totalization Treaties and Miscellaneous issues…

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High-Net Worth Individual Tax

Protax raises the bar on U.S. individual tax compliance and consulting, given the nature of our complex specialty of U.S. individual international taxation, in addition to our repatriating U.S. expat clientele and foreign national clients that become permanent legal resident aliens and U.S. citizens.

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Top Ranked- Google & Yahoo

Given our content and relevance in the market Protax is number one ranked by both Google and Yahoo, where we also enjoy a special partnered relationship.

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World Renown Industry Benchmark Articles

Protax’s Principal Marc J. Strohl, CPA’s concise and informative executive summary tax articles are world renown and considered industry benchmark authoritative articles. Used by the big-four as information for their clients, content is revised and updated annually.

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Featured Quoted and Published

Principal Marc J. Strohl, CPA is a regularly featured and a quoted contributor to the NYSSCPA’s The Trusted Professional and NYSSCPA.com Online Blog, in addition Marc has been featured in The Wall Street and contributor Thomson Reuters’ newsletter publication Practical International Tax Strategies.

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Events and Speaking Engagements

Marc J. Strohl, CPA is a frequent external speaker and lecturer at NYSSCPA Individual and International Tax Committee meetings and is guest faculty giving CPE and CLE to CPA’s and attorneys at Lawline.com and Furthered.com

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Location of Services

Headquartered in Manhattan, New York Protax operates on a global platform with client presence worldwide. We provide seamless tax coverage worldwide through our affiliated Association of International Tax Consultants (AITC) foreign offices.

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Approach and Linked Networked Client Services

Protax’s decades of experience have aligned us with firms providing client services in: Legal Services, Insurance, Mortgage Facilities, Banking and Investment, Qualified Retirement Planning, Third Party Payroll, Information Technology managed services and Website development, SEO, SEM administration.