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Why Does Overseas Moving Take So Darned Long?


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Conventional wisdom is that moving is one of the top stressors in life -- somewhere behind death and divorce. And that's if you're moving within the United States. If you're moving out of the country, well, let's say this might not be the time to let your Xanax prescription run out. With the right moving company, overseas moves get easier, but depending on your destination, you could be looking at months before you see your precious belongings. No wonder the biggest complaints international moving companies hear is that shipments take too long. 

What is the holdup?

When you move from one state to another, unless you live in a large home, your shipment will share a truck with other shipments to be dropped off along the route. This can add weeks to an out of state move, but it also saves customers money. Now, imagine that same shipment going overseas. Your goods won't share a truck with other shipments, it will share a ship and that ship won't go anywhere until it's full. 

If you live somewhere far away from a major shipping port, it might add weeks to the delivery schedule, especially if you are moving to a land-locked area. 

The most unpredictable factor is...

If we could wave a magic want anywhere along your goods' journey, it would be during customs. Customs is the most unpredictable part of international moving. There are some things we can do to help move the process along, but there are so many things out of our or your control. I recall a time when a customer's goods hit London's port on the same day as a terrorist attack hit the city. Customs delayed the shipment for weeks, and needless to say, our customer wasn't happy. 

Sometimes customs delays are random. You might find a customs agent in a bad mood, or perhaps they choose your container as the one they go through with a fine-tooth comb. Either could cause serious delays. Sometimes, though, you will know in advance to expect delays. Australia, for example, has some of the world's most stringent customs restrictions. 

Australia has some of the most stringent requirements for importing HHG’s. To move to Australia, you’ll need an Incoming Passenger Card, along with Form B534 Unaccompanied Effects for items that will be shipped. Most household goods for personal use are not subject to duty taxes. Goods under $900 (Australian) in value may be imported duty-free. You are also allowed 2.25 liters of alcohol and 50 cigarettes. For specific duty rates beyond the personal exemption, consult the Australian Customs Service. Fresh produce and dairy and meat products are prohibited. There are also restrictions on medications and firearms, among other items. Most live plants are prohibited from importation.

All pets being imported must meet the requirements of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and are subject to a period of quarantine at an AQIS approved facility. Quarantine periods vary depending on the type of pet and country of origin. Australia also has an extensive list of restricted and prohibited items. Importation of goods that have contact with the ground such as motor vehicles, bicycles, golf carts and even golf clubs must undergo thorough steam cleaning and possible fumigation to remove all dirt, sand and/or debris. Quarantine authorities will inspect these vehicles upon arrival. Those not meeting the criteria will be further fumigated at the clients’ expense.

Source:My Moving Reviews

While there is no easy way to speed up your shipment, we do have tools available to help you prepare. We are familiar with customs procedures throughout the world. We can help you choose what to pack and what not to pack. We'll take a thorough inventory, helping speed items through. 


Do American Expats Have to Pay Double Taxes?

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People move overseas for many reasons, but one is to escape the United States' high cost of living. What many American expats don't give a lot of thought to, though, is that they may end up paying taxes in both countries. There are ways around it, though. Of course, you'll want to consult a tax professional and not take our word as legal advice.

The IRS is pretty clever about tracking people down and ensuring they get their share of foreign-earned income. Don't worry too much, though. There are laws in place to prevent you from being unfairly double taxed. 

Foreign earned income exclusion

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion protects you from most double taxation by excluding around $100,000 of foreign-earned income per year. That amount is adjusted for inflation each year. You can also exclude some housing expenses in foreign lands. If you are a civilian or military government employee, your income is not considered to be foreign-earned. 

If you are self-employed, things get a bit more complicated. You are still eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, but you will be responsible for self-employment taxes. Instead of a housing exclusion, your housing will be a deduction. 

how to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion

To qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, you need to jump through several hoops. For starters, cut all ties to the United States. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to dump your friends and family, but you'll need to sell your house or end your apartment lease. Cancel ties like gym memberships. Then you'll need to find a home in your new destination. Either sign a long-term lease or buy. You should also establish other signs of residency, such as utilities, a library card, and a gym membership., The exclusion isn't offered to people who jump between the US and another country. Plan on spending at least 330 days a  year (not necessarily consecutive) outside of the United States to qualify. That means that even if you live relatively close, like in Canada or Mexico, jumping across the border to visit family can cost you thousands if you do it for more than 35 days out of the year. Note that the IRS counts any days spent hold up in an airport because of weather delays. If your plane even enters US airspace on the way to another country, that will count as one of your 35 days. 

What about taxes in your destination country?

Whether you'll owe taxes in your destination country depends on a few factors. If you spend 183 days in a country (about half the year), you are generally considered a resident, which means you may owe taxes in that country. If you make your living online, there may be exceptions. Some countries don't charge expats taxes at all:

Some countries — like Costa RicaHong Kong, Panama, the Seychelles, Singapore and Taiwan — have a “territorial tax system,” and only tax income generated within the country’s borders. There are also a handful of countries that have no income taxation in place at all, including Andorra, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman IslandsMonaco and the United Arab Emirates.

Source:The Points Guy


Yes, it gets a little confusing, which is why you should consult a tax professional before leaving the country. That being said, in many circumstances a move out of the country can save you big come tax time. 



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Why We’re Inter Movers LLC

What do you look for in an international moving company? Stability? Secure Transportation? Reassurance? Dependability? Planners? How many moving companies say “they have your back” and how many of them actually mean it and prove it to you? Inter Movers LLC proves it from the very beginning of your move, by helping you account for every small detail.


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