Expat Taxes

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 the year (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 $11,850

Head of household



65 or older $14,800

Married filing jointly



One spouse 65 or older $21,850


Both spouses 65 or older $23,100

Married filing separately



You may be able to exclude from your income up to $10,800 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; or

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.