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U.S citizen or resident resides in abroad is Taxable or Not!

Source of information IRS official site. U.S citizen or resident resides in abroad is Taxable or Not!
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Category : > Income Tax Filing Across The USA
Posted On : Fri Jul 09th,2010

Source of information IRS official site. U.S citizen or resident resides in abroad is Taxable or Not!

Income from Abroad is Taxable

  Many United States (U.S.) citizens and resident aliens receive income from foreign sources. There have been recent reports about the interest of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in taxpayers with accounts in Liechtenstein. The interest of the IRS, however, extends beyond accounts in Liechtenstein to accounts anywhere in the world. Consequently, the IRS reminds you to report your worldwide income on your U.S. tax return.


If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you must report income from all sources within and outside of the U.S. This is true whether or not you receive a Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement,  a Form 1099 (Information Return) or the foreign equivalents.

Additionally, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate and gift tax returns and for paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are living in the U.S. or abroad.


Hiding Income Offshore


Not reporting income from foreign sources may be a crime.  The IRS and its international partners are pursuing those who hide income or assets offshore to evade taxes. Specially trained IRS examiners focus on aggressive international tax planning, including the abusive use of entities and structures established in foreign jurisdictions.  The goal is to ensure U.S. citizens and residents are accurately reporting their income and paying the correct tax.


Foreign Financial Accounts


In addition to reporting your worldwide income, you must also report on your U.S. tax return whether you have any foreign bank or investment accounts.  The Bank Secrecy Act requires you to file a Form TD F 90-22.1, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), if:



      You have financial interest in, signature authority, or other authority over one or more accounts in a foreign country, and


      The aggregate value of all foreign financial accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.


More information on foreign financial account reporting requirements is in News Release FS-2007-15, Foreign Financial Accounts Reporting Requirements and Publication 4261, Do You have a Foreign Financial Account?


Consequences for Evading Taxes on Foreign Source Income


You will face serious consequences if the IRS finds you have unreported income or undisclosed foreign financial accounts.  These consequences can include not only the additional taxes, but also substantial penalties, interest, fines and even imprisonment.



Reporting Promoters of Off-Shore Tax Avoidance Schemes


The IRS encourages you to report promoters of off-shore tax avoidance schemes.  Whistleblowers who provide allegations of fraud to the IRS may be eligible for a reward by filing Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information, and following the procedures outlined in Notice 2008-4, Claims Submitted to the IRS Whistleblower Office under Section 7623.



Foreign Earned Income Exclusion


If your tax home is in a foreign country and you meet the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, you can choose to exclude from your income a limited amount of your foreign earned income.


You can also choose to exclude from your income a foreign housing amount. This is explained later under Foreign Housing Exclusion. If you choose to exclude a foreign housing amount, you must figure the foreign housing exclusion before you figure the foreign earned income exclusion. Your foreign earned income exclusion is limited to your foreign earned income minus your foreign housing exclusion.


If you choose to exclude foreign earned income, you cannot deduct, exclude, or claim a credit for any item that can be allocated to or charged against the excluded amounts. This includes any expenses, losses, and other normally deductible items allocable to the excluded income. F


Limit on Excludable Amount


You may be able to exclude up to $91,400 of your foreign earned income in 2009.


You cannot exclude more than the smaller of:

      $91,400, or



      Your foreign earned income (discussed earlier) for the tax year minus your foreign housing exclusion (discussed later).


If both you and your spouse work abroad and each of you meets either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, you can each choose the foreign earned income exclusion. You do not both need to meet the same test. Together, you and your spouse can exclude as much as $182,800.



Foreign Income Test:


If you are a U.S citizen or a resident alien, you must report income from sources outside the United States (foreign income) on your tax return unless it is exempt by U.S. law. This is true whether you reside or outside the United States and whether or not you receive a Form W-2, Wages and Tax Statement, Form 1099 from the foreign payer. This applies to earned income (such as wages and tips) as well as unearned income (such as interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, rents and royalties).


"If you reside out side the United States, you may be able to exclude part or your entire foreign source earned income."


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