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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.

What is Foreign Source Income for an American Abroad?

November 27, 2019

As a US American abroad, you may have heard a tax term called a “foreign source income” before. Perhaps you’ve even asked the question “What is foreign source income?” while reading one of our tax guides. Don’t worry – we’re going to make sure we will lay this all out for you. Foreign source income for Americans abroad is very important to track – and sometimes report – to the IRS every year. It just depends on how much you make. It’s one of those things every American living abroad will need to become aware of when tax season arrives. Foreign Source Income If we look at income in general, the IRS classifies it based on where you earn money.  If you are living and working in the United States as a US citizen, Green Card Holder or even as a non-US Person, then your income is US-sourced. Even if you are working for a foreign company while you are in the United States, it is still considered US-sourced income. This is because the money you are receiving is earned while working physically from within the United States. If you are working abroad (outside of the US) any money that…

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American Expat Social Security Tax and Benefits

November 20, 2019

Expat social security tax benefits may be one of the last things an American abroad may consider when it comes to their US taxes. Plus, it can be overlooked for people working overseas. From this we’ll be sharing the top points you need to become aware of when it comes to your social security as US expat. US Expat Taxes and Social Security Generally speaking, for an American living and working in the US, a percentage of your salary goes into Social Security. However, as an American expat living abroad, if you are working for an American company overseas, your employer may still want to withhold income taxes and take deductions to contribute to your Social Security account similar to your colleagues based in the US. Additionally, if you’re your own boss – being self-employed – the IRS will normally add a Self-Employment tax on your net income as well. The problem comes when foreign countries also need you to pay for their social insurance systems that support you with benefits like health insurance. In some situations, American expats could be taxed twice (dual taxation) by having to pay into the US Social Security program and the foreign country’s social…

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What to Expect for Tax Season 2019 as an American Abroad

November 11, 2019

Just because we are heading into 2020 doesn’t mean we file the 2020 US tax forms just yet! In fact, we always need to file for the year before (a.k.a. filing for 2019 taxes in the year 2020) since our worldwide income of that year can only be measured and determined by the end of the year. Therefore, without further ado, here’s what to expect in the calendar year 2020 for tax season 2019 as an American Abroad: US Tax Deadlines Still the Same Tax deadlines 2020 for the 2019 tax season will remain as the years before: April 15th remains to be the tax filing deadline for Americans within the United States. June 15th is the automatic extension deadline for Americans abroad. Expats also have the opportunity to request an extension to October 15th by filling out a form (you can file through our app or read this post for more info). December 15th is the very last day to file for your US expat taxes before the new year. You can use the Streamlined Procedure to catch up on your taxes before the new tax season begins. New Tax Filing Thresholds for 2019 As you can see from…

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Filing After IRS Deadline for US Citizens Living Abroad

November 6, 2019

Expat taxes can be a lot to handle. It is a tax obligation for US citizens abroad to file (and if necessary) pay US taxes every year. For some Americans abroad, they have completed their tax return and it’s already submitted to the IRS. For others, they may have missed the deadline, in fear over the penalties and problems for not filing on time. Don’t fret, folks. In this post, we’re going to highlight the points you need to know about filing after IRS deadline for US citizens living abroad, its penalties, and the solutions for it. US Tax Deadlines for Americans Abroad Many US citizens living abroad probably are aware of the common tax deadline of April 15th. It’s particularly for Americans living inside the United States. However, for Americans living outside the US, they get an additional, automatic extension. This IRS deadline for US citizens living abroad is June 15th. It’s a nice free automatic extension that gives Americans abroad additional time to file their US taxes they need to.  However, it is possible to extend this automatic extension even further to an October 15th deadline. Americans abroad will just need to fill out a special form in…

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Which Address to Send US Tax Return from Abroad?

October 25, 2019

Perhaps you’ve realized the fact that you need to file your worldwide income as an American expat abroad. Or you’re in the midst of completing your tax return and need to know where to send it. Don’t worry, we got you covered. In this post, we’ll be highlighting all you need to know before you send that tax return. Plus, we’ll share the actual address to send US tax return from abroad as well. Do You Need to File an Extension? Naturally, US expats have the automatic extension to file and pay their US taxes until June 15th. However, due to specific circumstances, there is a possibility to extend your deadline furthur, to the October 15th deadline. In order to do this, Americans abroad need to file an October 15th extension form BEFORE the June 15th deadline. It informs the IRS you are not able to make the deadline, even despite given an extension. However, the truth is many US expats may need an additional 4 month extension.  Some may have not known they needed to file taxes while living abroad. Or perhaps, a personal circumstance prevented them from actually doing so on time. Don’t fret if you can’t figure…

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Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens

October 18, 2019

Are you an Accidental American or American abroad considering giving up your US citizenship? The IRS has created a new program in September for relief procedures for certain former citizens who have/intend to relinquish their passport and American citizenship. This new program is for people who also wish to become tax compliant with their US income tax. Plus, avoid being taxed as a “covered expat” too.  Therefore, it is possible to give up your citizenship. But you need to take responsibility for what you need to catch up with. We’ll highlight exactly what that is below: Background Info about US Citizenship  According to the United States Constitution, the 14th Amendment states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” are citizens of the country. However, there are people who were born in the US with something called diplomatic agent level immunity. This is an international law that gives a degree of protection from certain laws in the country to people. All in all, as a fact, everyone born in the US obtains US citizenship. Accidental Americans Someone who is born abroad from at least one US parent can acquire American citizenship at birth. This is only, however, if…

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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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