Expat Taxes: The Complete Guide to Taxation for American Expats


For independent contractors living abroad, InternationalCitizens.com, provides guidance on how to file your taxes:

Tax Filing Advice for US Citizens Living Abroad

Filing taxes in your native country can be a headache. Doing taxes as an US expatriate, however, can be even more daunting of a task.

As an expat, you’ll need to do plenty of research to make sure you don’t miss any critical steps. You need to grasp the law, know the exceptions, and understand the loopholes to ensure that you aren’t taxed twice, and more importantly, ensure that you don’t face severe tax penalties.

Today, we’re here to help make the US expat tax filing process as seamless as possible.

We’ve outlined every step of the tax filing process for American expats to give you everything that you need to sail through tax season without issue.

How to File Your Taxes as an American Expat

1. Make Sure You Know the Deadlines

Having to scramble and stress over filing your taxes is never a fun experience. Make sure you know exactly when the filing deadline is and start the process as soon as possible.

The deadline to file your taxes is April 17. However, expatriates living abroad have the opportunity to request an extension. If the IRS grants your extension, your new filing deadline will be October 15.

2. Gather All Important Documents

Make sure you’ve collected all the necessary documents needed to file your return. This includes documentation of all income, such as:

If you live in a country that uses a fiscal year for tax filing, you’ll want to have your end-of-year pay stub on hand. With your end of December pay stub, you can calculate your earnings for the previous calendar year. If applicable, you’ll need statements of investment income, the sale of stock, and maximum account balances.

3. File the FBAR and/or Form 8938

Determine if you need to file the FBAR and/or Form 8938.

Most expats will need to file one or the other. You have to file the FBAR if you are an expat filing a U.S. tax return. Form 8938 requires that you report on foreign accounts as well as foreign assets.

Filing the FBAR is necessary when the total balances of your foreign financial accounts exceed $10,000. It’s important to note that if you are under the age of 65 and filing as single, the threshold for filing a U.S. return is $10,300.

FBAR reporting must include bank accounts, investments, and retirement accounts. The $10,000 threshold applies to all accounts, whether you have signature authority or own them jointly.

Read the full story at: Expat Taxes: The Complete Guide to Taxation for American Expats

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