What Expatriates Tax Documents Do You Need in No-Tax Zones?

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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

Gross earnings  W-2s
 Paycheck stubs
 Earnings records
Self-employment income  Gross business income
 List of business expenses
Interest and dividend income  1099s
 Bank/account statements
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
Mortgage interest  1098
 Lender statements
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.

Need Help With Understanding Expatriates Tax Issues?

For more detailed information regarding US expat taxes, check out this blog post. If you have questions about filing your tax forms, please contact us.