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Tag Archive for Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

How Do I Qualify For Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

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To claim the foreign earned income exclusion, you must meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. Your tax home must be in a foreign country
  2. You must have foreign earned income
  3. You must be one of the following:
  • A U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year.
  • A U.S. resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect, and who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year.
  • 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.

There are only two of the factors to be considered in determining whether you pass the bona fide residence test: the length of your stay and the nature of your job. You need to remember that you do not automatically acquire bona fide resident status just by living in a foreign country or countries for one year and your bona fide residence is not necessarily the same as your domicile. If you made a statement to local authorities in your residence country that you are not a resident of that country, and they determine you are not subject to their income tax laws as a resident, you can’t be considered a bona fide resident.

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How To Qualify For Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

To claim the foreign earned income exclusion, you must meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. Your tax home must be in a foreign country
  2. You must have foreign earned income
  3. You must be one of the following:
  • A U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year.
  • A U.S. resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect, and who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year.
  • 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.

There are only two of the factors to be considered in determining whether you pass the bona fide residence test: the length of your stay and the nature of your job. You need to remember that you do not automatically acquire bona fide resident status just by living in a foreign country or countries for one year and your bona fide residence is not necessarily the same as your domicile. If you made a statement to local authorities in your residence country that you are not a resident of that country, and they determine you are not subject to their income tax laws as a resident, you can’t be considered a bona fide resident.

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Tax Deductions And Credits Available For U.S. Expats

Olivier Wagner, Virtual Tax Advisor, Expatriate Tax Expert

There are a few deductions and exemptions available to a U.S. person who lives and works overseas. These will help you to lower your expat taxes and might even get you a refund.

If you meet certain requirements, you may qualify for the foreign earned income and foreign housing exclusions and the foreign housing deduction. The most common deduction is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which is calculated on Form 2555. If you qualify for this you may exclude up to $101,300 of your foreign earned income. To qualify, you will need to meet either the Physical Present Test or Bona Fide Resident Test for living outside of the U.S.

Foreign Housing Exclusion or Deduction is another option that can save you some money on your taxable income. You need to be either a salaried employee, a wage earner or a self-employed individual to qualify for this deduction. It’s in an addition to FEIE and increases the exempted income by the amount of your qualified housing expenses. Depending on the country of your residence, the allowable deductions for the foreign housing will vary and are subject to limitations.

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Filing Taxes As An American Living In Mexico – US Expatriate Taxes Explained

David McKeegan, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

You are going to be required to file US expat taxes no matter in which country you live, but how will they be affected if you’ve chosen to live in Mexico?  With the familiar language, proximity to the US, warm weather, and beautiful geography, Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for American expatriates.  It is essential to understand how your US tax return will be affected by your move to Mexico, and what US taxes you will be required to pay. On top of your obligation to file and pay US taxes, Mexico has taxes of its own. Read on for the details you need! Read more

The Reality Of Owning A Controlled Foreign Corporation After Trump’s Tax Reform

Olivier Wagner, Tax Traveler, Tax Blog, Tax Abroad, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections

Do you know that owning a Controlled Foreign Corporation got affected by New Tax Bill? In a nutshell, Trump’s tax reform now means that all income is Subpart F income. In addition, all currently untaxed retained earnings will be subject to a one-time tax. Read further if you want to find out what it means exactly and how U.S. expats with CFCs are affected.

Let’s take a quick look at a few changes that were introduced in recent tax legislation. Generally, Trump’s tax reform benefits individuals who are struggling with their finances by doubling standard deductions, i.e. from $6,000 to $12,000 for singles, and reducing the rates for five tax brackets of the existing seven. Read more

FBAR Penalties Rise Again Due To Inflation

Ephraim Moss, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, New York, USA, TaxConnections

As with many numbers in the U.S. tax code (for example, the foreign earned income exclusion maximum amount), FBAR penalties increase periodically due to inflation.

Recently, the IRS announced that FBAR penalties for noncompliance would be increased for penalties assessed after January 15, 2017. A brief summary of the FBAR requirement and the new penalty amounts are the subjects of this blog.

The FBAR Requirement – A Quick Background Read more

How Does The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion Work?

Olivier Wagner, Tax Nomad, Tax Blog, Vancouver, Canada, TaxConnections
Living and working abroad comes with many exciting benefits. In addition to exploring new lands and learning about new cultures, expats often earn additional income beyond just their regular salary. Foreign earned income can come in many forms. In addition to the wages that are earned, those who are working outside the United States also must declare as income bonuses, tips, commissions, and the like.
It is also common for expats working overseas to have non-cash income as part of their employment package.

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Foreign Earned Income Exclusion For U.S. Expatriates

Olivier Wagner, Tax Traveler, Vancouver, Canada, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

Even if you have left the United States for a brighter future elsewhere, you  (something not as strong) take a moment and think about any obligations you have towards the IRS. The US retains its right to tax globally its citizens and resident aliens who are a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect. Only two countries have such a citizenship-based taxation system: the United States and Eritrea.

What Is A Foreign Earned Income Exclusion For U.S. Expats?

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) is offered to US citizens and resident aliens that are living abroad on a consistent basis, have earned income in a foreign country and can prove that they have done so for the past tax year by satisfying either the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Residence. Read more

U.S. Tax Considerations For The Digital Nomad Living Abroad

Ephraim Moss, Tax Advisor, Tax Blog, New York, USA, TaxConnections

In today’s age of “digital nomads,” the idea of working remotely overseas continues to grow in popularity. New programs, such as Remote Year, have further facilitated overseas commuting by organizing year-long trips for employees and freelancers to live in multiple cities abroad. Participants, for example, travel in groups to live in multiple cities throughout Europe, Asia and South America, for one month each over a year period.

Working abroad presents a number of unique U.S. income tax issues and opportunities for the digital nomad.  One main issue is qualification for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (“FEIE”), which allows U.S. citizens living abroad to exclude their foreign earned income from U.S. federal taxation. Another important issue is a digital nomad’s potential liability for state and local taxation even during their time living and working abroad. Read more

Claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion when Filing a Late Return – What US Expats Need to Know

Hugo Lesser, Tax Advisor

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion lets US expats exclude the first around $100,000 (the exact figure rises a little each year) of their earned income from US taxes.

It’s a great choice for many expats who earn less than this threshold, and sometimes a good option for expats who earn above the threshold too.

To claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, expats have to file form 2555 with their annual US tax return. Form 2555 requires expats to prove that they live abroad.

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Exactly What Income Can U.S. Expats Exclude? FEIE

American expats are, unfortunately, still required to file U.S. taxes from abroad. Thankfully though, there are several exclusions that reduce or in most cases eliminate their U.S. tax liability. The foremost among these is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Not owing U.S. taxes doesn’t exempt expats from having to file a U.S. tax return though, as the exclusions that reduce or eliminate U.S. tax liability for expats must be claimed each year when expats file their federal return. Read more

A Quick Refresher On The Foreign Tax Credit

Ephraim Moss, foreign tax credits, expat, tax professional

One of the fundamentally important tax concepts for U.S. expats to know is that the U.S. tax system has built-in mechanisms for preventing the “double taxation” of your income (i.e., tax in both your new host country and in the United States). These mechanisms provide a measure of relief for U.S. expats who remain subject to U.S. taxation, despite living and working abroad.

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