Questions From Our Inbox

I have been living abroad for years and I just heard that I should be filing US taxes? I was under the impression that people only had to file if they earned more than $100k and I was making less than that, so I don’t have to file right?

 – Sarah M.


Hi Sarah,

To answer your question, you are required to file a US tax return if you earned above the minimum amount required to file (which varies depending on your filing status). Generally speaking, if you are self-employed and earned $400 you must file, if you are single and earn above $10,000 you need to file and if you are married and filing together this increases to $20,000. For reference, you can view the 2019 tax brackets here, but note, as a US citizen you are required to report your income to the US every year, even if you are living abroad and paying taxes to your host country. 

However, there is an upside! The US has certain exclusions, deductions, and credits in place to limit dual taxation. The biggest credit is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which allows you to exclude over $100,000 of your earned income from your US taxes. If you fall under this limit, you probably will not owe the US any tax—however, even if you won’t owe anything you still need to file.

You may also have been required to report your Foreign Bank Accounts. If you had $10,000 or more in foreign bank accounts at any point during the year, an FBAR was required. 

If you have been above these thresholds, we offer a Federal Tax Return Package (which includes the most common forms and schedules US expats need to file) and we can also file your FBAR for each year you were required to file. 

If you’ve never filed before, we generally recommend filing the last 3 years of tax returns and 6 years of FBAR utilizing the Streamlined Filing Program which can help you get caught up on your taxes.

If you would like our help to file, simply click here to get started today.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we can be of further assistance!






Questions From Our Inbox
 is a series where we answer expat tax questions from all around the world. Have a question you’d like answered? Comment yours below or join the conversation on Facebook, and keep an eye out for future posts!

Free Guide: 25 Things Every Expat Needs to Know About Taxes

  • By entering your email, you agree to receive emails from Greenback. You may opt out at any time per our Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Posts