How To Qualify For The Physical Presence Test To Use Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Olivier Wagner, Tax Expatriate Tax Preparer

U.S. expats can use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to reduce taxable income. And if you did you research on this topic, then you probably heard about tests to pass. American abroad has to qualify for one of the two tests. Today we explain what you need to pass the Physical Presence Test.

Let’s take another look at few general requirements to use FEIE:

  • You should have foreign earned income
  • Your tax home must be in a foreign country
  • and one must qualify for one of the two tests, either Bona Fide Residence or the Physical Presence Test.

The IRS states that a U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident alien who is physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 consecutive months qualifies for the Physical Presence Test, but is it really that simple?

And here why we prepared infographics on the details of Physical Presence Test. Check it out below:

 Infographic for US expats on How to qualify for physical presence test

Most of the Americans abroad prefer to use Foreign Earned Income to save money on the tax bill. However, if you ask a tax professional, they will always recommend using the Foreign Tax Credit instead. It has some massive advantages that U.S. expat should be aware of before making a decision to choose one of the options.

Have a tax question? Contact Olivier Wagner.




Olivier Wagner

Certified Public Accountant, U.S. immigrant, expat, and perpetual traveler Olivier Wagner preaches the philosophy of being a worldly American. He uses his expertise to show you how to use 100% legal strategies (beyond traditionally maligned “tax havens”) to keep your income and assets safe from the IRS. Before obtaining my U.S. citizenship and traveling all over the world, he was born and raised in France. His experience learning the intricacies of the U.S. immigration process combined with his desire to travel freely lead me to specialize in taxes for Americans living and working abroad. He helps Americans Abroad file their taxes and devise strategies that make sense for their lifestyle. These strategies encompass all aspects of registering an offshore business, opening a bank account abroad, and planning out new residencies and citizenships. He is operating the accounting firm 1040 Abroad. 1040 Abroad exists to help you make sense of an incredibly large world of possibilities. Find out more by visiting

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