Expat Tax Advice: Should US Expats File Federal Tax Returns?


In this brief video, Greenback Expat Tax Services President and CEO David McKeegan addresses a question that many American expats ask: “Do I need to file a federal tax return?”

Hi everybody. I’m David McKeegan from Greenback Expat Tax Services. Today, I wanted to answer a question that we get all the time. The question is, “As an American expat, do I need to file a US Federal tax return?”

The answer is it depends on what your income is. If you’re a single filer, and you’re earning over $9,750, then yes, you have to file a tax return. If you are married filing jointly, and your income is over $19,500, then you will have to file a tax return. If you’re a single filer, or if you’re a married filer but you’re filing singly, and your income is over $3,800, then yes you will have to file a US tax return.

The other thing to know is that these are the numbers for people under age 65. If you’re over 65, the limits are slightly higher. You should be aware of that. Also, I wanted to mention that the Standard Tax Deduction for the 2012 tax year is $5,950 if you are filing single, or you’re married filing separately. If you are married filing jointly, it is $11,900. If you’re head of household, it’s $8,700.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. I will speak to you next time. Thank you.

Need Expat Tax Advice?

For more in depth information, you can refer to our blog post on this topic, too. If you have questions about whether you need to file taxes or if you would like help completing your American expat tax return, please contact us.