Expatriate Taxation


If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income tax returns are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad.

Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside. Your income, filing status, and age generally determine whether you must file an income tax return. Generally, you must file a return for 2019 (even if you do not owe any taxes) if your gross income from worldwide sources is at least the amount shown for your filing status in the following table:

Filing Status 




65 or older


Head of household


65 or older


Married filing jointly


One spouse 65 or older


Both spouses 65 or older


Married filing separately


You may be able to exclude from your income up to $112,000 of your foreign earned income. You also may be able either to exclude or to deduct from gross income your housing amount. Also, you may be able to claim a tax credit for the income taxes you paid in a foreign country. 

To claim the foreign earned income exclusion and the foreign housing exclusion, you must have foreign earned income, your tax home must be in a foreign country, and you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year; 

  • A U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident alien who is physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 consecutive months.

For U.S. citizens and green card holders, we produce the following tax returns:

  • Form 1040, including the schedules necessary for U.S. individuals living abroad, such as the foreign tax credit schedule (Form 1116), the foreign earned income exclusion (Form 2555) and the newly required foreign asset disclosure report (Form 8938).

  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting Forms (the so-called FBARs or FINCEN 114) listing bank accounts in which U.S. citizens either have a beneficial interest or signatory rights;

  • U.S. owned foreign corporation income and balance sheet reports (Form 5471);

  • Applicable state and local filings.

Tarraf & Associates has over fifteen years of experience preparing US tax returns for Americans living abroad. If you have a tax question or need help preparing your US tax return please contact us for free consultation.