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November 28, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

Claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for Nonfilers

This discussion is for Americans working abroad who want to claim the foreign earned income exclusion, but they are late in filing the tax return to do so.

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Americans living and working abroad can make up to $101,3001 of earned income tax-free. Earned income is what you get paid for working — wages or self-employment income.

This is the foreign earned income exclusion.2 It is great.

  • Your salary = $100,000.
  • Your tax = $0.

What’s not to like?

You get this tax benefit by attaching Form 2555 to your income tax return.3

Misunderstanding

People (not you!)... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition
November 14, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

ACA Solves Banking Problems for Americans Abroad

Americans living abroad have a hard time keeping U.S. bank accounts open.  As soon as the bank (or investment firm *cough* Merrill Lynch *cough*) finds out you are living abroad, you are apt to get your account closed.  

Subterfuge is a common solution.  (Subterfuge is an $11 word that means “tell the bank a lie”.)  You simply report that you have a home address in the United States.  That address happens to be the home of a friendly friend, parent, or sibling.

Now you can do it correctly, courtesy of American Citizens Abroad.

For Americans living abroad, opening and maintaining a US bank account has been a BIG problem.

... continue reading
Americans Living Abroad
May 13, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

When Americans Can’t Own Real Estate Abroad

Hello from Phil and welcome again to the Friday Edition. Every other Friday you get your dose of international tax news from me. If you want this email to stop, please click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email.

When Americans Can’t Own Real Estate Abroad

Many countries will not allow foreigners to own real estate. Mexico is a prominent partial example for Americans — direct real estate ownership is forbidden for property too close to the border or the coastline. Inland, no problem. Other countries flatly limit ownership of real estate to their citizens only.

I received a WhatsApp message from an American living in one such country.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition
March 4, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

Flip-Flopping the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Hi, it’s Phil and it’s the Friday Edition, full of international tax goodness. If you want to stop receiving this, just click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Since we are starting the tax season, let’s do a practical topic for those of you living abroad, or those of you preparing income tax returns for people living abroad.

Flip-Flopping the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion vs. Foreign Tax Credit

This week’s topic comes from Darlene Ayoub, CPA. She dialed into a recent International Tax Lunch session I did on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and wondered about using the exclusion one year and not using it the next.... continue reading

Americans Living Abroad Friday Edition
February 19, 2016 - Phil Hodgen

Expatriation Feelz, Bank Accounts, and Foreign Social Security

Hello from Phil, and welcome once again to the Friday Edition. You signed up to get this but you can stop getting it by clicking on the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

This edition is a combination of feelz, technical knowledge, and pragmatic “solve it with a hammer” tax strategy.

Feelz

I get emails. This one hit me in the feelz.

Hi Phil,

I’ll try to keep this short – even if you are a speed reader I’m sure you get lots of emails.

Yep. Inbox = 296 right now.

Born in Boston, was always proud to be an American.

... continue reading
Americans Living Abroad Expatriation Friday Edition