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How long can I stay in the U.S. and how much income can I earn in the U.S. before I have to pay U.S. taxes and file U.S. tax returns? How do I avoid double-taxation of the same income in two countries if I am a resident or citizen of a country outside the U.S.?

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Tax Professional Answers

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Chuck Heyde, CPA, CGMA
Hope you are still out there. I just got this question.

It is more a matter of how much income you earn than days spent in the US that generates the filing. (Albeit days are important.) If you earn more than your standard deduction and personal exemptions, you have a filing requirement. But non-residents do not get a standard deduction, so if you earn more than your personal exemption ($3,700 for 2011) then you would have a filing requirement in the US.

The way non-US residents avoid double taxation on their US return is by (1) claiming only US sourced income on their Non-Resident US tax returns, (2) claiming foreign tax credits for taxes paid to the non-US country when the non-US income must be claimed on the US return, and (3) if all else fails there is usually a tax treaty that helps drastically reduce the double taxation.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Chuck Heyde
Leave a Comment 484 weeks ago


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