Americans working abroad may be eligible to exclude certain foreign earned income (wages, compensation for services) from US taxable income under the rules governing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). The FEIE amount is adjusted annually for inflation. This amount for 2014 is $99,200. If a couple is married, each spouse can claim the full FEIE amount (e.g., for 2014, each spouse can exclude up to $99,200 of his or her earned income). If one spouse does not earn enough salary to fully utilize the exemption amount and has “excess” FEIE, this excess cannot be used by the other spouse to exclude amounts beyond his or her own exemption.
The exclusion can apply regardless of whether any foreign tax is paid on the foreign earned income, provided certain tests are met. Generally, for an individual to qualify for the Read more