A 2012 survey showed that out of 96 countries in the world, eight of them do not charge any income taxes. If you are a US expat who has chosen to live in one of these tax-free countries, you still have expatriates tax filing requirements.
You are under the same filing requirements as US expats living in any other country. Even though you won’t have any tax documents for your country of residence, you will still have to gather the documents needed to have your US tax return prepared. The following list explains the documents and information needed to prepare your annual US tax return. As income is reported on most US tax returns using a calendar year, these records should give calendar year information.
Need information that shows calendar year totals of…
Possible source documents
|Self-employment income||Gross business income|
|List of business expenses|
|Interest and dividend income||1099s|
|For sales of stock or other securities: sale date, selling price, costs of sale (if any), purchase date, cost when purchased||Broker/account statements|
|For sales of real estate: sale date, selling price, costs of sale, purchase date, cost when purchased||Closing statements|
|Unemployment compensation||Government statement|
|Social Security income||Government statement|
|Property taxes paid on your home||Property tax statements|
|Rent and parking expenses paid for your home||*Your records|
|Cost of repairs for your home||*Your records|
|Utilities (other than telephone, cable TV & internet charges)||*Your records|
|Insurance on your home||*Your records|
|Rental income received and rental property expenses paid||*Your records|
|Rental/Investment property expenses||**Your records|
|Educator expenses||Expense receipts|
|Student loan interest||Lender statement|
|Job-related expenses such as supplies, tools, job hunting costs, travel, meals||**Your records|
|Moving and storage expenses||**Your records|
* You should provide the totals. Your tax records should include your supporting documentation such as check registers, bank statements and vendor bills.
** You should provide a total for each type of expense. Your tax records should include supporting documentation.
You should list any other income you received, showing the amount, the type of income received and the source of the income. You should keep verification of other income with your tax records.
It is also important for US expats to provide information about their citizenship, residency and international travel during the year. Travel information should include the following for each trip:
- Country traveled to
- Dates of arrival and departure
- Number of business days in the US
- Income earned in the US
If you have FBAR filing requirements, you should provide documents that include the following information for each account:
- Bank name and address
- Account number
- Names on the account
- The highest balance in each of your foreign accounts during the year.
Many US expats find it is helpful to organize this information and these documents throughout the year. If you keep this information in mind during the year, the burden of gathering your documents at tax time may be lessened.
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