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Tax Tips for U.S. Americans Abroad

We scour and examine the complexities of IRS and state tax laws to make filing taxes as a U.S. expat easy. Read our blog for useful expat tax tips and advice.

US Expat Tax Guide to Form 2555

October 7, 2019

If you are living or working abroad as a US expat, you may have heard of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (Form 2555 or FEIE). It’s a cool benefit to take advantage of (if you qualify). It can help you save tons of money and reduce your tax bill to the IRS in the United States.  To skip the easy form filing via MyExpatTaxes, you can fill out the form manually through Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (discounted after the 2018 tax season). Once it’s completed, carry over the calculations to your Form 1040. Then, attach it to your US Tax Return and send it in the mail. Additionally, the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is a great opportunity to prevent you from getting double-taxed on foreign income by the IRS. Check out the most important information we compiled for you, in our handy guide on all things Form 2555: What is Form 2555 – Foreign Earned Income Exclusion You may have stumbled upon the FEIE or heard about it amongst your expat friends. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is a tax benefit that allows US expats to exclude up to $103,900 (for the tax year 2018) of their income from…

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The Foreign Income Exclusion 2019 Rules for US Expats

October 7, 2019

Tax season for US expats happens all year round. From the April 15th deadline to automatic extensions into June, and filing deadlines into October, US expats can’t escape the tax responsibility that comes with living abroad. But taxes as an expat can be empowering. You can save some serious money and reduce your tax bill by something called the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Known as the FEIE, this foreign earned income tax credit is a money-saving deduction. It can also be a breath of fresh air for expats. It can not only lower but completely eliminate your tax liability as a US expat.  Interested to learn more? Read on to understand the rules for saving money through the Foreign Income Exclusion 2019 for US expats. Understand Exactly What FEIE is as a US Expat It’s important to know exactly what you are going to get involved with if you as a US expat decide to utilize the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The FEIE (or Form 2555) is a tax benefit that allows you to exclude a certain amount of foreign earned income from being taxed from the IRS. For 2019, the tax year is for 2018. From this, you can…

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Does a US Citizen Living Abroad Have to Pay Taxes?

September 18, 2019

Living abroad as a US citizen, unfortunately, does not disconnect you from your tax duties. Filing a federal return is still an obligatory task you’ll have to do. Plus, the reality of a US citizen living abroad having to pay taxes is possible – but only if you are eligible. Despite living on new land, separate from the United States, if you were born in the US and got a passport to prove it, you’ll need to report your worldwide income every year to the IRS. Living abroad and paying US taxes is going to be a thing for the rest of your life as long as you remain an American citizen! Taxation Based on Citizenship If you haven’t been on Twitter during tax season or after searching the hashtag “expat taxes” you would think there is not much drama based on citizen taxation. When in actuality, the United States and fellow country Eritrea take on a different approach to taxing their citizens. Despite every other country in the world not giving their citizens abroad the responsibility to report their worldwide income (and pay their taxes to their homeland government), the US does for Americans. US taxes abroad is a…

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How to Start Filing US Expat Taxes: Our Quick Start Guide

September 5, 2019

We all know that we need to file our US expat taxes, no matter where we live and work. That’s just part of being a US Citizen or LTR (Long Term Resident / US Greencard Holder). But what happens when you haven’t filed your US expat taxes for a while now? What is the best way to start filing US expat taxes? This handy quick start expat tax guide will surely help you get going! How many years of back taxes do expats need to file? US Expats who are behind on their US tax filing requirements might be able to catch up using the IRS Amnesty Program, called the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure. This requires 3 years of back taxes and 6 years of back FBAR filings. So to start filing US expat taxes, Americans abroad will need to dig up their tax documents dating back 3 years. Anything prior to that is not required. If you are looking to catch up on the 2018 tax season, you would need to file: 2015 – 2017 Back Tax Years 2018 Current Year 2012 – 2017 Back FBARs 2018 FBAR Streamlined Filing Certificate (to certify that you were abroad for the…

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The New US Expat Tax Reform Draft for 2019

August 30, 2019

For a long time, Form 1040 (the typical US tax return) had a pretty consistent, yet complicated look. Then Trump, the current President of the United States – had his administration announce a new tax bill. The “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, which was the largest tax reform in 30 years. We already saw the reduced postcard version of Form 1040 introduced in tax season 2018. However, that was just the beginning of it. Here we will highlight the new US expat tax reform draft coming in effect for the 2019 tax season.

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New IRS Compliance Initiative Aimed at US Expatriates

August 9, 2019

On July 2019, the IRS Large Business and International division (LB&I) announced the approval of six additional compliance campaigns. The one we’re concerned about is the US Expat Compliance Campaign: U.S. citizens and long-term residents (lawful permanent residents in eight out of the last 15 taxable years) who expatriated on or after June 17, 2008, may not have met their filing requirements or tax obligations. The Internal Revenue Service will address noncompliance through a variety of treatment streams, including outreach, soft letters, and examination.

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Do Expats Pay US Taxes: Depends on How You File

August 2, 2019

Most expats do not pay US taxes because of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or Foreign Tax Credit benefits. However, expats still need to file taxes annually, even if they do not owe any taxes to the IRS. This holds true for the massive number of US expats that have gross worldwide income over the filing threshold.

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