How to File U.S. Taxes Abroad


A common misconception about being a U.S. citizen and living abroad is that you do not need to pay taxes. This can be no further from the truth. Although there is no state tax (because obviously you are not living in a given state) you are still a U.S. citizen, which requires you to pay federal taxes. You will have to go about filing your taxes just as you would have while in the country, except you will need to fill out a little extra paperwork.

Things You'll Need

  • W-2
  • IRS Form 2555-EZ
  • Compile your tax forms just as you would have while living in the states. Using a tax software will make this a much easier process (especially if there are no tax preparing accountants nearby).

  • Print out the IRS Form 2555-EZ.

  • Read through Part I of the form. This will make sure you can file as a citizen living abroad. Select "Yes" if you have lived in the foreign country for more than one tax year. If you were in the country for more than 330 days, select "Yes." In the final section check "Yes" if you were already taxed in your foreign country. If you were, you will be able to deduct this from your earnings.

  • Move down to Part II. From here write out your foreign address, occupation, employer's name and employer's U.S. address (or foreign address, whichever applies).

  • Proceed to Part III. This section is for if you were ever in the United States during the past tax year. If you were, write out every day you arrived and day you left, followed by the number of business days and how much money you earned while in the U.S.

  • Follow the steps in Part IV to determine the amount of income tax you must pay. Once the form is complete, mail the amount you owe plus your tax forms to:

    Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service
    Austin, TX 73301-0215


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