If you are an American citizen yet are currently living abroad there are some important reasons why you should have your mail in order by using a virtual mailbox.
In some cases, there could be legal and tax issues that need to be arranged back home in the USA, and your inability to react to certain types of mail in a timely manner could lead to serious problems.
A virtual mailing address with a mailbox service would help avoid this.
Not only that, but you can also enjoy various other benefits using a mailbox service.
Let’s take a look at why US expats should consider signing up for a virtual mailbox service and what these benefits are.
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Why US expats should use a virtual mailbox service
1. Important mail can be reacted upon immediately
This is probably the biggest reason to opt for a mailbox service. If you receive mail that has to be acted upon within a deadline, you will be able to do this.
The mailbox service would be able to scan the contents immediately, allowing you to make the necessary arrangements.
If you waited for your mail to be forwarded to your foreign address, you could well run out of time.
2. Your mail is easily accessible
Most virtual mailbox services provide easy-to-use apps meaning you can access your correspondence directly from your cell phone.
3. Your mail is securely stored in the cloud
A US expat abroad may be living in all kinds of environments. The important thing is, you will be able to access your mail anywhere you’re able to get a wi-fi connection.
This is because it is all securely stored in the cloud. 24/7 access for you. If you lose your phone, you do not lose your mail.
4. You can continue with your US-based life in terms of accounts/mortgage etc
A virtual mailbox allows you to continue paying checks (if you opt for one with a check deposit facility), and to keep on top of your US-based financial needs in general.
Just give the bank or mortgage company details of your new address and you will be able to take care of issues much like you would if you had remained in the US.
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5. You can choose an address with tax benefits
Most virtual mailbox services will give you the option to choose an address within any state.
This means you could opt for a tax-free state, and avoid issues with the IRS and State tax authorities, during your time abroad.
Hang on, can’t a family member just open my mail for me?
If you are planning on having your mail redirected to a trusted friend or family member (or are giving them access to your US address), you might just plan on having them open your mail and have them deal with it by proxy.
This is not a good idea. Firstly, depending on the amount of time you will be spending out of the country, this is a big ask.
To have a friend scan all your mail and alert you every time something arrives is unfair. Furthermore, they are bound to slip up every once in a while and miss something.
Come tax season, your friend would be inundated with forms for you. Do you really want to put them through that?
A virtual mailbox would take care of all of this as part of the service.
Which virtual mailbox service to use in 2021?
There are a number of great virtual mailbox services available in 2021 that are suited to the American expat. Our favorite service reviewed here is Traveling Mailbox. They provide a top-quality mailbox service and app with a ton of features at great prices.
Anytime Mailbox also scored highly due to their low-budget options across a range of available addresses. The prices here can add up if you go over your quotas, however, (as in the number of scans you request a month, for example).
We also like Earth Class Mail for its features for premium users.