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Have you done your taxes?

SPECIAL TO KAVITACHHIBBER.COM

By Vir Gandhi, CPA, CA and USINDIATAX.COM 

Ravi was desperate. He was in the US for four months last year. He had about $4500 withheld from his salary. He knew that he could get a refund but he was back in India and did not know how to file US taxes from India to get his refund. Through the internet, he found USIndiaTax.com. Within 2 weeks of filing the appropriate forms with the help of USIndiaTax.com, Ravi received the tax refund directly to his bank account.
 
Sharma, lives in Chicago and had invested some money in a shopping mall in Delhi. He started receiving income from his property but was in quandary about the taxes in USA from this income.  He was not aware of the US India Tax treaty till he got in touch with USIndiaTax.com.  USIndiaTax.com helped him not only with the tax issues in the USA but also with the taxes in India.
 
The partners of USIndiaTax.com have been tax consultants in India and USA for many years.  In 2004, they started a tax outsourcing company to help US accounting companies. In addition to these companies who need their help to tide them over the peak tax season, USIndiaTax.com received several calls from IT professionals and entrepreneurs who had income from USA and India. They needed help navigating the complex paper trail involved in filing a tax return in the USA.  Similarly, there are Indians who live in the US and receive income and have real-estate properties in India. They were not aware that the income from India has to be reported to the IRS if they are US Citizens or US Residents as per IRS rules (for example you may be a green card holder but are still considered a US resident for tax purpose by IRS).  Many of these Indians are not aware that there is an Indian- US Tax treaty that offers significant benefits and avoids double-taxation.
 
Here is a short interview with Vir Gandhi, CPA and Partner of USIndiatax.com.
 
What is unique about your company,   US India Tax?
 
We are the first company that focuses exclusively on Indian professionals and entrepreneurs who have to deal with both USA and Indian tax issues.  We have tax experts both in India and in USA.  Offices in both these countries help us react promptly to our clients needs. We also have very rigorous training process for our employees on US and Indian tax laws.
 
I live in the USA but do not have a green-card? Do I still have to report my income from India?
 
Many people from India (currently US Citizens or otherwise) may be considered by the IRS as US residents for tax purposes. We can help you determine if your income from India is taxable in the USA. Also, you can avail the benefits of the US-India tax treaty to avoid double taxation. Please note that significant penalties may be imposed if you do not report your foreign bank accounts, stock accounts, or other financial accounts. You could also be in trouble when you are trying to bring that income into the United States if you do not report it.
 
How do I get my taxes done?
 
We suggest that you contact us by email or by phone (see bottom of this page for details).  We will send you a checklist of documents needed. A specialist will verify that all necessary documents are received from you.  These may sent by fax or by email as scanned documents.  Typically, we will get back to you within 24 hours with a quotation. We will arrange to file your taxes by e-filing or by sending you a hard copy to mail to the appropriate IRS address. We can also help you get your refund deposited directly into your bank account.
 
What is the  deadline for US Taxes?
 
This year April 17th (Tuesday) midnight is the deadline for US taxes.  We urge you to contact us as early as possible since some taxes may take as much 1-2 weeks to get the necessary documents.
 
What is the current deadline for Indian taxes?
 
The date varies based on your income – from June to August. I recommend that you contact us as soon as possible to get appropriate assistance and planning.
 
For more information, please contact us by e-mail at
tax_info@usindiatax.com, Website: www.usindiatax.com
 
"Help Indians Globally with their taxes".
 
Vir Gandhi at   +1-630-364-4522    (USA)             or
Jawahar Kothari   +91-20- 6620-1040 (India)
 
We speak English and various Indian Languages.
Please mention this article and we will give you 10% discount on our fees.
 
Vir Gandhi, CPA, CA
vgandhi@usindiatax.com
Partner, USIndiaTax
www.usindiatax.com

Vir Gandhi: CPA, CA (India), LLB (India), is a partner in USIndiaTax. In the ast 12 years, Gandhi has provided services to numerous mid-size family-owned businesses, wholesalers/distributors, international clients, and individuals.

He has successfully represented numerous clients in India and the US. He combines his technical tax knowledge with his broad business experience to meet the unique needs of each client to service the client in a proactive and concerned manner. Along with advising multimillion-dollar US companies on starting operations in India, Gandhi has performed business valuations of businesses and other entities.

Gandhi is a former member of the Bombay office of the present firm of Mishra & Firke associates, Chartered Accountants. He received a bachelor’s of commerce and Law from University of Poona.

 


A Roadmap for an Entrepreneurial Economy

Rather than debating the problems of U.S. competitiveness, it’s time for solutions. A paper from the Kauffman Foundation puts several on the table

By Vivek Wadhwa

There are a wide range of views about what the U.S. can do to keep its edge in today’s global economy, but no consensus (see BusinessWeek.com, 1/18/07, "Keeping Research and Leadership at Home").

The Kauffman Foundation, the nation’s largest foundation to promote entrepreneurship, recently released a working paper titled "On the Road to an Entrepreneurial Economy," which offers a new take on keeping the U.S. competitive. It’s based on input from entrepreneurs and academic researchers on the biggest challenges we face and their assessments of issues tied to U.S. competitiveness.

I was asked for my feedback, and the foundation offered to support the work my team is doing at Duke University after it reviewed our research on skilled immigrant entrepreneurs (see BusinessWeek.com, 1/3/07, "Open the Door Wider to Skilled Immigrants").

The Big Four

Bob Litan, Kauffman’s vice-president for research and policy and the lead architect of the roadmap, believes America’s future success will be achieved through the efforts of its entrepreneurs and innovative small businesses. Just as technologies that changed the world—the telephone, automobile, airplane, and personal computer—were all introduced by entrepreneurs, it’s the current and future crop of entrepreneurs who will create and commercialize the innovations that keep the U.S. competitive. Litan says, "It’s time to think big, if we want big results."

Here’s a summary of the four top issues the roadmap identified, along with its proposed solutions.

1. Ensure a skilled workforce. One of the biggest constraints for the formation and growth of successful enterprises, large and small, is finding skilled individuals with an entrepreneurial bent. A solid education in math, science, and technology is critical, but these skills must be balanced with reading, understanding history, and appreciating culture. School curricula are failing to foster not just excellence in science and mathematics but also creativity and entrepreneurial mindsets among students.

The roadmap says fixes should include fostering entrepreneurship in the way the education system is run, allowing families to choose which public schools their children attend, nurturing entrepreneurial skills from middle school through college, devoting more federal support to science and engineering, and forging an "entrepreneurial" immigration system.

2. Reform health care. Escalating health-care costs are a major concern for entrepreneurs and U.S. businesses in general. Fear of losing health insurance compounds workers’ anxieties about job loss and deters some from leaving their jobs to launch new enterprises.

The roadmap says one solution is to untether health insurance from employment, as recently proposed by President Bush in his State of the Union address (see BusinessWeek.com, 1/23/07, "Text of the State of the Union Address"). This would involve extending tax deductibility of health-care insurance to those who purchase it on their own, and could be funded by a cap on the tax deduction for employer-provided health-care coverage.

3. Promote innovation. Entrepreneurs launching new businesses are responsible for a disproportionate amount of truly radical or transformative innovation—the disruptive products and technologies that affect U.S. competitiveness.

The roadmap suggests three ways to capitalize on innovation and expand it: First, improve university-research commercialization by freeing faculty to negotiate their own deals, and make federal research grants dependent on tangible results. Next, streamline the patent system and limit what can be patented. Finally, provide small businesses the same advantages as big corporations in following research and innovation abroad. The federal government could help by translating international publications and communicating useful knowledge developed abroad to U.S. entrepreneurs.

4. Limit regulation and litigation. Because of their small size, entrepreneurial businesses often bear a disproportionate cost of regulation and liability litigation. Reforms are needed to ensure that major federal and state regulations are implemented only if their estimated benefits exceed costs. Reforms in liability laws are also required.

Kauffman’s roadmap presents bold new ideas and solutions. It shows remarkable insights into the issues entrepreneurs face. Yet it demonstrates a surprising lack of understanding in certain areas. For example, one of its recommendations for boosting entrepreneurship is to increase immigration by removing the caps on H1-B visas. Th is proposal misses a key point—skilled immigrants who enter the U.S. on these visas can’t start businesses or develop deep roots (see BusinessWeek.com, 2/8/07, "Let’s Keep Skilled Immigrants in the U.S.").

Also, in advocating increased graduation and immigration rates for scientists and engineers, the roadmap fails to recognize the negative impact that haphazard increases in supply can have on industry salaries, and how this can discourage Americans from entering these professions (see BusinessWeek.com,7/10/06, "Engineering Gap? Fact and Fiction").

Even though it’s a work in progress, the roadmap is a good starting point. Rather than debating the problems of U.S. competitiveness, it’s time for us to start debating solutions. Kauffman has added some useful ideas to the conversation.

Vivek Wadhwa, the founder of two software companies, is an Executive-in-Residence/Adjunct Professor at Duke University. He is also the co-founder of TiE Carolinas, a networking and mentoring group.

Continue to PAGE 2 to read Bab’s Sachdeva’s article "For Whom the Dell Tolls?" -->

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the writers/interviewees and do not necessarily represent those of the editor/publisher.


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