Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have not filed for more than 5 years. What are my options now?

2. I did not know that I had to report my global income on my tax return. Now what?

3. If I file for the previous years, do I lose my right to the foreign earned income exclusion?

5. I am self employed, do I qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion?

6. I own my own business overseas, which is a legal entity in my country of residence. Do I qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, and do I have to pay social security and medicare taxes?

7. I am a foreign service government employee, do I have to pay state taxes while living overseas?

8. I am a civilian working overseas in direct support of the US armed forces; do I qualify for combat pay income exclusion or any kind of extension of deadlines?

10. Am I taxed on the market value of the residence that my employer provides for me while overseas?

11. I have to pay US taxes, but I do not have US Dollars and my home country currency is not fully convertible. How can I comply with my duty to pay taxes?

14. I was only a couple of days short of meeting the 330 days for the physical presence test! What luck! Is there anything I can do to avoid this large tax bill?

15. What is one of the most common mistakes by taxpayers living abroad?

16. I am a US citizen and I have been working in Argentina for more than 5 years as a chemical engineer. I was not planning on staying this long in a foreign country but I have gotten married here and I plan to live here for many more years. Since I am not in the US, does that make paying federal taxes voluntary?

17. I started my job in Poland as an interior designer in July 2008 and went back to New Jersey in December 2008 to sell my car and my house there. It took me awhile and I resumed my job in Warsaw in July 2009. Am I entitled to the foreign earned income exclusion?

18. What is this tax form called the Foreign Bank Account Report? When do I submit the form?

19. I am a New Yorker living in Czech Republic. I have always been paying taxes to the US. The first time I have heard of the Foreign Bank Account Report was last month. I heard that tough action is being threatened against those who do not file the form. What do I do now?

20. I am an expat living in Italy. This is the first year that I will be required to pay taxes as a US citizen living in a foreign country. My employer has been generous enough to pay many of my expenses here, including the rent, utilities, education of my 2 kids, as well as insurance and taxes associated with my living here. Can I use these for exemptions? What is the maximum limit?

21. I have made a voluntary disclosure of my tax obligations and was asked to pay a 20% offshore penalty. Should I pay this penalty? Is it negotiable?

22. In have been paying taxes on time and in full ever since I became an expat. Last year, my financial situation worsened and I may be late in making tax payments. Which penalties incur interest? From what date does the interest accrue?

23. I already pay taxes in Norway where I have been staying for the past 4 years. What can you tell me about foreign tax credit?

24. How do I know if I have to file a state return?

25. Do I have to pay tax on a gift received from my foreign friend?

26. I am an American living in the UK. How will the residence changes affect me?