What If You Live Overseas? How To File Taxes


As an American citizen working abroad, you should understand that the US government requires you to pay taxes. If you do not know how, you will see that it is a relatively simple process. Filing is definitely a much better option to avoid IRS issues.

How To FileNumerous people assume that by living overseas, they’re spared from filing and paying their taxes. This isn’t true, unfortunately. As an American citizen, you’re required to file your tax returns, regardless of where you’re working to avoid IRS problems.

Citizens of the United States of America, as well as residents of the United States, can fill out two types of tax forms when working in a foreign nation. These forms are the Foreign Earned Income (Form 2555) and Form 2555-EZ.

Like everyone else, you’ll have to file your tax return on the 15th of April every year. But a 2-month extension is automatically given for American citizens working in another country. This would offer you more time to correctly file the right forms and pay outstanding tax debts. To utilize this 2-month extension, you will have to attach a statement to confirm that you qualify for it.

One of the problems that some people who have recently moved to another country is that they didn’t take all of their tax information with them, or they relocated before they could get all of their W-2 forms from their employers and they were actually sent to the old address in the United States. The honest and hard truth is that you will be liable for obtaining those documents. Whether that requires asking a good friend or family member to track down your mail, or asking your company to send a new copy to your new address, it should be accomplished. Another option is to let your company send you electronic copies through email, while the official ones are being sent via regular physical mail systems. This will enable you to accomplish your tax returns in a timely manner and prevent an IRS issue.

If your spouse is not an American citizen, there are several options to choose from when filing your taxes. You can elect to just report your own income for the year by filing as Married Filing Separately. You can file as Head of Household if you have children. By declaring your spouse as a resident alien, you can also file as Married Filing Jointly.

It is recommended to consult a tax preparer when filing taxes from overseas. With the many factors involved, this is the surefire way to avoid IRS problems.