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FILING REQUIREMENTS WHILE ABROAD
The U.S. filing requirements for U.S. citizens and resident aliens in foreign countries are generally the same as those for citizens and residents living in the United States. Your age, marital status, gross income, and whether you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer determine whether you must file a U.S. federal income tax return. To determine if you meet the gross income requirement for filing purposes, you must include all income you receive from foreign sources as well as your U.S. income. The FileTax Organizer has a special worksheet for Expats. It does not matter that:
SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS ABROAD
You must file a U.S. income tax return if you had
$400 or more of net earnings from self-employment, regardless of your age.
You must pay self-employment tax on your self-employment income even if
it is excludable as foreign earned income in figuring your income tax.
Net earnings from self-employment include the income earned both in a foreign
country and in the United States. Use the FileTax
Organizers to as a checklist.
US WITHHOLDING TAX
You may be able to have your employer discontinue withholding income tax from all or a part of your wages. You can do this if you expect to qualify for the income exclusions under either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test. See Publication 54 for information.
Withholding from pension payments. U.S. payers of benefits from employer deferred compensation plans (such as employer pension, annuity, or profit-sharing plans), individual retirement plans, and commercial annuities generally must withhold income tax from the payments or distributions. Withholding will not apply only if you choose exemption from withholding. You cannot choose exemption unless you provide the payer of the benefits with a correct taxpayer identification number and a residence address in the United States or a U.S. possession or unless you certify to the payer that you are not a U.S. citizen or resident alien or someone who left the United States to avoid tax.
For rules that apply to non periodic distributions
from qualified employer plans and tax-sheltered annuity plans get Publication
575, Pension and Annuity Income (Including Simplified General Rule).
ESTIMATED TAXES WHILE ABROAD
If you are working abroad for a foreign employer, you may have to pay estimated tax, since not all foreign employers withhold U.S. tax from your wages.
Your estimated tax is the total of your estimated income tax and self-employment tax for the year minus your expected withholding for the year.
When you estimate your gross income, do not include the income that you expect to exclude. You may subtract from income your estimated housing deduction in figuring your estimated tax liability. However, if the actual exclusion or deduction is less than you expected, you may be subject to a penalty on the underpayment.
Use Form 1040 ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to estimate your tax. The requirements for filing and paying estimated tax are generally the same as those you would follow if you were in the United States.
When to file. If your tax year is the calendar year,
the due date for filing your income tax return is usually April 15 of the
FILING EXTENSIONS WHILE ABROAD
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident and both your tax home and your abode are outside the United States and Puerto Rico on the regular due date of your return, you are automatically granted an extension usually to June 15 to file your return and pay any tax due. You do not have to file a special form to receive this extension. You must, however, attach a statement to your tax return when you file it showing that you are eligible for this automatic extension.
It may benefit you to file for an additional extension of time to file. You may benefit if, on the due date for filing, you have not yet met either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, but you expect to qualify after the automatic extension discussed above and have no tax liability. To file for an additional extension, send Form 2350, Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to the Internal Revenue Service Center in Philadelphia or to your local IRS representative. Send the form after the close of your tax year but before the end of the first extension. If an extension is granted, it will be to a date after you expect to meet the time requirements for the bona fide residence or physical presence test. You must attach the approved Form 2350 to your income tax return when you file it.
Where to file. If any of the following situations apply to you, you should file your return with the Internal Revenue Service Center, Philadelphia, PA 19255-0002.
1) You claim the foreign earned income exclusion.
2) You claim the foreign housing exclusion or deduction.
3) You claim the exclusion of income for bona fide residents of American Samoa.
4) You live in a foreign country or U.S. possession and have no legal residence or principal place of business in the United States
You can still vote in federal
elections while you are overseas.
FOREIGN BANK and FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS
If you had any financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, a bank account, securities account, or other financial account in a foreign country at any time during the tax year, you may have to complete Treasury Department Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, and file it with the Department of the Treasury, P.O. Box 32621, Detroit, MI 48232. You must file this form no matter where you live. You need not file this form if the combined assets in the account(s) are $10,000 or less during the entire year, or if the assets are with a U.S. military banking facility operated by a U.S. financial institution.
Internal Revenue Publications available from this site, in PD. format. Other formats at Internal Revenue site.
How Complete Business Services
prepares your returns
If you are traveling in the US consider a stop over at SFO, we will come to the airport for a free consultation. When we travel we often ask people to met at the local airport. It saves us a lot of time, luggage, customs and immigrations. We will extend the same courtesy to you.
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