Wednesday, April 6, 2011

U.S. Taxes

All U.S. citizens are required to file taxes. This applies to expats as well. However, expats get to exclude up to $91,500 of foreign earned income. Yeah, I wish I made at least that.

In order to exclude foreign income you have to use the Foreign Income Exclusion Form 2555 or 2555-EZ which gets submitted with your 1040 or 1040-EZ.

In order to qualify, you have to pass the tax home test and meet the bona fide residence test.

To pass the tax home test, your tax home must be in a foreign country throughout the period of bona fide residence. You basically have to reside overseas for 330 days of the tax year.

When you file your taxes you have to express your foreign salary to the IRS in U.S. dollars.

The U.S. has bilateral Social Security agreements with certain countries, including the Czech Republic. These agreements prevent expats from paying taxes on the same income twice - once in the foreign country and again in the U.S. Since I paid taxes in the Czech Republic and passed the income exclusion criteria I didn't have to pay taxes in the U.S. However, I still had to file my taxes by April 15th. Luckily, I can fill out the forms online, scan them, e-mail them to Mom and she will mail off my Federal taxes. She is also going to mail in my Georgia state forms too. Thanks again Mom!!!


  1. Unless my accountant is lying, as an expat you technically have until June 15th to file your US taxes.

    It would actually be impossible for me to make the April 15th deadline as I didn't get my last piece of paper in the mail until the end of March.

    Random question: why are you filling out a form for Georgia? You don't live there. I don't fill out any specific state form in the US--the last time I did was 2004, when I move to Germany. I filled out a form for Indiana because I lived there for the first six months of 2004.

  2. I think you have until June 15th if you request an extension. I was in a mad rush to get everything done by April 15th so who knows.

    I understood that I had to file state taxes in order to maintain my state residency, even though I don't live there. But just like my federal taxes, my state taxes ended up being zero.