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Good News For American Expats From The IRS

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The stimulus payment of $1,200 announced for all U.S. citizens and Green Card holders will include U.S. expats.

Even though you are outside of the United States you will still be able to claim the stimulus check if you are up to date with your U.S. taxes.

Thresholds for the Economic Impact Payment

All U.S. citizens with income under $75,000 will be eligible for the full payment of $1,200.

If your income is between $75,000 to $99,000 you will still receive a partial payment.

The payment is per person, if you file jointly then you can both receive a payment.

There is an additional payment of $500 per child.

The IRS will use the income from line 8b of the 2019 tax return to see if you are under the threshold.

U.S. Expat Taxes

American expats are in the rare position that they are still required to report all income and file a U.S. tax return after they move overseas.

You can claim the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign tax credits, but you do still need to file a tax return to claim those. If all your income is foreign source income and the tax rate is the same or higher than the U.S. then there should be no tax to pay to the IRS – you just need to keep reporting.

Additional Reporting for Expats

In addition to filing the U.S. tax return each year, American citizens also need to report all their foreign bank and foreign financial accounts back to the U.S. each calendar year using the foreign bank account report (FBAR).

Didn’t realize that you still had to file U.S taxes

If you have just found out that you are required to keep filing U.S tax returns after you move overseas, you can use the streamlined filing procedure to catch up without any penalties.

As part of the streamlined foreign offshore procedure, you will:

  • complete the last 3 U.S. tax returns – all previous returns will be waived by the IRS
  • file an FBAR for the last 6 tax years reporting all foreign bank accounts and financial institutions
  • a 3 page disclosure statement explaining that you can show “non-willful” conduct and you were not deliberately avoiding paying U.S. tax

Next steps for American Expats Claiming the payment

Once you’ve checked that you have filed your 2019 U.S. tax return, and all other required information returns including FBARs, you should automatically receive the $1,200 payment from the IRS.

If you have submitted all required information for bank repayments on your 2019 tax return, the payment will be sent direct to your bank, if not then you can check the IRS tool, or they will send out a paper check.

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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