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If you are a U.S. citizen or hold a green card, you are required file a U.S. tax return on an annual basis to report your worldwide income (over certain threshold amounts), whether or not you owe tax to the U.S. government.
For the 2020 tax year, you must file if your income was at least:
Head of Household
Married Filing Jointly
Married Filing Separately (any age)
The requirement to file applies regardless of whether you spent time in the U.S. during the year or had income from U.S. sources. Meaning, even if you spent the entire year abroad and earned all of your income abroad and paid tax on the income to your country of residence, you’re still required to file a U.S. tax return.
This may sound scary and even costly, but keep in mind that although you must report the income you earn, very often your U.S. federal tax liability should be minimal (if not zero) due to various exclusions and credits you can take – and this is where we can help!
The answer depends on your situation. The most typical form required outside the IRS Form 1040 is the FBAR, since most expats hold non-US bank or pension accounts by virtue of living abroad.
In addition to the Form 1040 and FBAR, expat taxpayers may be required to file certain other federal tax forms depending on their activities and income amounts.
We prepare any and all forms that an expat taxpayer may need to file, including the following:
In order to avoid double taxation, U.S. expats are generally entitled to several benefits related to the income they earn while overseas and the taxes they pay to foreign countries:
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion – Each year, U.S. expats are allowed to exclude from their income a fixed amount of their foreign earnings. For 2020, this amount is $107,600. In order to claim this benefit you must meet certain criteria and attach Form 2555 to your return (included in our standard package!). In order to qualify for this exclusion, you must meet the following criteria:
FATCA stands for “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.” FATCA was initially enacted in 2010. Its objective is to require U.S. citizens to report their holdings in financial accounts and assets overseas as part of the U.S. government’s focus on combatting offshore tax evasion. As part of enforcing FATCA, the IRS requires certain U.S. citizens to report the total value of their “foreign financial assets.” Generally, FATCA reporting applies to any account in a foreign financial institution and to stock or securities issued by a non-U.S. entity. If you reside outside the U.S. and have a bank account or investment account in a foreign financial institution, you are generally required to include Form 8938 with your U.S. federal income tax return if you meet the following thresholds:
Our state tax return service helps US expats who have a continuing obligation to file.
To put it simply - not all expat services are created equal. We offer the most reliable, efficient and rigorous online service for U.S. expats across the globe. Even with the convenience we offer our clients, we stand behind the quality of our work and the level of service we provide.
Here are 6 specific reasons why choosing Expat Tax Professionals is the right decision for you:
Given time zone differences, the best way to reach us is by email. You can either email your tax manager directly or send an email to [email protected]
Otherwise, you can contact us by phone or through our website contact form:
U.S. +1 (718) 887-9933
UK +44 (0) 20-3642-0423
Please note that our office maintains London hours. Our office hours are Mon-Thurs 8am-4pm GMT (London time).