Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, Pub 54

Publication 54, "Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad," offers crucial information for Americans living or working internationally. Understand filing requirements, foreign income exclusions, tax credits, and other unique rules will help you ensure accurate tax reporting.

Who is it for?

A. U.S. Citizens Abroad: This includes anyone with U.S. citizenship, regardless of their physical location or residency status.

B. Resident Aliens Abroad: Individuals who aren't U.S. citizens but meet the "Green Card Test" or the "Substantial Presence Test" are considered resident aliens for tax purposes and fall under Publication 54's scope.

Do I need to file a US tax return even though I live abroad?

  • Yes, if you're a U.S. citizen or meet the Resident Alien test (Green Card or Substantial Presence).
  • Deadlines and filing options are available in Publication 54 and the IRS website.

What types of foreign income do I need to report on my tax return?

  • Wages, self-employment income, investments, pensions, and more (refer to Publication 54 for details).
  • Special rules apply to certain income, like inheritances or gifts from abroad.

Can I reduce my tax burden by claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)?

  • Yes, if you meet eligibility criteria (foreign residency and income thresholds).
  • Maximum exclusion amount changes annually (check IRS website for updates).

What about the Foreign Housing Exclusion?

  • Helps offset housing expenses incurred abroad under specific conditions.
  • Maximum exclusion amount varies by location (check IRS website).