IRS Publication 54: Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad (For 2012 Returns)

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Foreign earned income exclusion vs foreign tax credit - Which is better?

Prior years, divided into quarters, are available as far back as Both current and historical tables list exchange rates for just about every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Publicly available foreign currency exchange rates can be found the sites previously mentioned: oanda.

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As an expat, you may have more than the usual load of paperwork that taxpayers must deal with when it comes to US taxes. The BSA was enacted to aid the US government in tracking large, illicit deposits of cash and negotiable instruments used in money laundering schemes. In later years, it was critical in the war on drugs by helping expose large drug trafficking operations.

Some provisions of the BSA were amended by the Patriot Act to give the Treasury more bite in to thwart the financing of terrorist activities. Foreign financial accounts include not only bank accounts, but brokerage accounts, mutual funds, trusts, or other types of foreign accounts, including some foreign retirement arrangements.


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The FBAR should not be included with your tax return. If you miss that filing deadline, FinCEN will grant an automatic six month extension to October 15th.

Converting Foreign Asset Values to USD

You may rely on periodic statements if you have them. There are significantly higher thresholds of total asset value required before you need to file Form Amounts vary and are dependent upon your filing status single, married filing separately, or married filing jointly and whether you are a US resident or US taxpayer living outside of the US.

In both situations, for married taxpayers filing separately, the threshold amounts are the same as for unmarried taxpayers. As with the FBAR, the form instructions tell you to use the maximum valuation approach when preparing Form If that rate is unavailable, you may use any other verifiable exchange rate. While it appears there are multiple guidelines in various IRS publications with respect to what foreign currency exchange rates should be used when converting asset values into USD, the agency does state on its website that it has no official exchange rate and generally will accept any posted exchange rate that is used consistently.

If you want to learn more about what exactly that means, and why I believe so strongly in it, I made this video that is worth watching:. My team and I have helped hundreds of guys develop and implement legal strategies for lower taxes, dual citizenship, and lifestyle freedom. While we value comments that add to the conversation, we reserve the right to edit or delete anything that is abusive, threatening, libelous, spammy, or is otherwise inappropriate.

Out of respect to those who engage our services, we don't provide personalized advice or referrals unless you engage us. It could be a misleading number. If you requested an extension during tax season — which you would have done using Form [Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U. It ultimately depends on the tax season.

An extension gives you an extra six months to file, which puts the deadline on or around October 15 depending on the year. In this case you may be able to request an additional two months, pushing back your deadline to December But in order to receive this discretionary extension you must submit a letter to the IRS explaining why you need the extra two months.

Refer to Publication 54 [Tax Guide for U. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad] for more information. An extension gives you a six month reprieve from some penalties but not all of them. October 15 was also the last chance to submit your return electronically. After this date the IRS shuts down its e-file system to prepare for the upcoming tax season. E-filing is far preferable to traditional paper-filing for many reasons.

You can take care of everything from your computer — no trips to the post office necessary. And what does that mean for you? It means you get your refund faster too. The physical presence test is met when the taxpayer is physically present in a foreign country or countries for full days during a period of 12 consecutive months. The days do not have to be consecutive.

Any U. The physical presence test is based only on the length of stay in a foreign country or countries.


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  • This test does not depend on the kind of residence established, intentions about returning or the nature and purpose of the stay abroad i. The family went back for a vacation in the United States in April and plans a vacation to the United States in May During the rest of the period, the U.

    The month period is the continuous period that starts in May and finishes in April During this period, the client spent more than full days outside of the United States the client was in China and will qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion and the foreign housing exclusion and deduction if applicable.

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    Monterey, CA Accounting Firm | IRS Tax Forms and Publications Page | GreenJespersen CPAs

    The bona fide residence test is met by a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year. Requirements for an individual under the bona fide residence test to qualify for the exclusions and the deduction are as follows:. The bona fide resident status is not automatically acquired merely by living in a foreign country or countries for one year. The length of stay and the nature of the job are only two of the factors to be considered in determining whether the bona fide residence test is met.

    The foreign earned income and housing exclusions apply only if a tax return is filed and the income is reported. The foreign exclusions or deductions are voluntary and the choice is made by completing and calculating such via Form or Form EZ — foreign earned exclusion only. Any non-excluded part of the foreign earned income not covered by the exclusion must be taxed using the tax rates that would have applied if no exclusions were claimed. Zdravka Zlateva is a senior manager at Taxback. For more information on Taxback.

    For further details or to contact the firm, please email china dezshira. We also discuss IIT liability for expatriates in China, IIT rates and calculation methods, permissible tax deductions, and how working for a permanent establishment can change tax liabilities. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements In this issue, we look at the evolution of the legal framework of double taxation agreements in China, including the foundations of anti-avoidance, obligations in reporting offshore transactions, how to qualify as a beneficial owner and how to claim treaty benefits.

    We also outline the interpretations given in Circular 75 of the China-Singapore DTA, which was the first time that the Chinese tax authorities really opened up about DTA interpretations. Reduce U. China introduced the biggest changes to its individual income tax IIT system since at least with the pa The start of a new year tends to be a hectic time for foreign companies in China.

    IRS Currency Exchange Rates for Expat Tax Returns

    During this period, business This edition of Tax, Accounting, and Audit in China, updated for , offers a comprehensive overview of the My question is a bit more specific — here are the exacts of my situation, and I wonder if anyone might be able to answer it in a very simple, easy to understand way:. My wife is a Chinese citizen living currently in the U. Suppose I make , yuan per year in one case and 1,, yuan per year in another.