Are you a U.S. citizen or resident who worked abroad last year? Did you receive income from a foreign source in 2014? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions here are seven tax tips you should know about foreign income:
1. Report Worldwide Income. By law, U.S. citizens and residents must report their worldwide income. This includes income from foreign trusts, and foreign bank and securities accounts.
2. File Required Tax Forms. You may need to file Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends, with your U.S. tax return. You may also need to file Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets. In some cases, you may need to file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts. See IRS.gov for more information.
3. Review the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. If you live and work abroad, you may be able to claim the foreign earned income exclusion. If you qualify, you won’t pay tax on up to $99,200 of your wages and other foreign earned income in 2014. See IRS Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, for more details.
4. Don’t Overlook Credits and Deductions. You may be able to take a tax credit or a deduction for income taxes you paid to a foreign country. These benefits can reduce your taxes if both countries tax the same income.
5. Tax Filing Extension is Available. If you live outside the U.S. and can’t file your tax return by April 15, you may qualify for an automatic two-month extension of time to file. That will give you until June 16, 2015, to file your U.S. tax return. This extension also applies to those serving in the military outside the U.S. You will need to attach a statement to your return explaining why you qualify for the extension.
6. Get IRS Tax Help. Check the international services Web page for the types of help the IRS provides. For all free IRS tax tools and products, visit IRS.gov at any time.
For more on this topic refer to Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. You can get all IRS tax products on IRS.gov/forms anytime.
Need more help? Contact an expat tax advisor. Protax Consulting offers expert tax accounting and consulting services for US expats and foreign nationals living in the US.