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Important Things You Need to Know About US Expat Taxes

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Do Expats File US Taxes? 

  • US expats are generally required to file US taxes. This includes filing income tax returns, estate tax returns, and gift tax returns, as well as paying estimated tax, in the same way as those residing in the United States. Americans abroad must file a US tax return if they meet the income thresholds, even when living abroad and even if they don’t owe any tax. US citizens and Green Card holders must file a US tax return if their income exceeds the threshold. There are also various other factors such as filing status, and income that will determine whether or not the U.S. federal government requires you to file a tax return.

Most American Expats Do Not Owe US Taxes. 

  • While it is true that many American expats do not owe US taxes, it is important to note that this is not always the case. The US tax system is based on citizenship, which means that US citizens and resident aliens are generally required to report their worldwide income on their US tax return, regardless of where they live or work.
  • However, there are various exclusions and deductions available to expats that can help reduce or eliminate their US tax liability. For example, the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows expats to exclude up to a certain amount of their foreign earned income from US taxation. Additionally, the Foreign Tax Credit allows expats to offset their US tax liability by the amount of foreign taxes paid on their foreign-sourced income.
  • It is important for expats to understand their tax obligations and take advantage of the available tax benefits to minimize their US tax liability. 

You Should Track Travel Time Carefully to Ensure You Qualify as an Expat 

  • Tracking travel time can be important for expats who are seeking to qualify for certain tax benefits, such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. To qualify for the exclusion, an expat must meet either the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Residence Test.
  • Tracking travel time can help expats determine whether they meet the requirements of the Physical Presence Test and ensure that they do not inadvertently exceed the maximum number of days allowed in the United States. It is recommended that expats keep a detailed record of their travel dates.

Tax Treaties Help Prevent Double Taxation for US Expats 

  • Tax treaties can help prevent double taxation for US expats. The United States has tax treaties with many countries around the world, which are designed to prevent double taxation and promote cooperation between the US and other countries on tax matters.
  • Double taxation can occur when an individual is subject to tax on the same income in two different countries. For example, a US expat living in a foreign country may be subject to tax on their foreign-sourced income in both the foreign country and the United States. Tax treaties can help prevent this by providing rules for determining which country has the right to tax certain types of income, as well as providing mechanisms for resolving disputes between the countries.
  • In addition to preventing double taxation, tax treaties can also provide other benefits to US expats, such as reduced tax rates, exemptions from certain taxes, and other tax benefits. It is important for expats to understand the provisions of the tax treaty between the United States and their country of residence to ensure that they are taking advantage of all available tax benefits and avoiding double taxation.

It is recommended that expats consult with a tax professional who is knowledgeable in international tax laws and tax treaties to ensure compliance with US tax requirements and take advantage of all available tax benefits. That’s where we come in. Contact us today at or (833)829-1120 if you need more information or assistance with Expat filing. Our team consists of licensed professionals with extensive expertise in handling Expat exclusions and tax treaties, addressing penalties, and providing consultation on the tax implications associated with different approaches.

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