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How to file taxes as a US citizen working in Germany.

While working in Germany, US citizens have to navigate two complex tax systems. Partnering with professionals who know which tax rules affect you is the best way to save.

Start Your U.S. Expat Tax Return

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Simple US Expat Taxes in Germany. Less stress. More savings.

Find out how to get your expat taxes done fast and keep more money in the bank.

  1. Americans earning income in Germany will need to pay US taxes—that is, unless you can eliminate your tax liability using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, foreign tax credits, and the foreign housing exclusion.

  2. The US-Germany Tax Treaty helps prevent double taxation for expats. The terms of the agreement state that the taxes you pay to each country will depend on your residency, where you work, and where your income was paid. Make sure you understand the rules to avoid paying twice!

  3. Americans must report on German bank accounts and financial assets using the FBAR form—or face penalties from the IRS.

  4. US citizens working in Germany have additional obligations for Social Security taxes, inheritance taxes, and capital gains taxes on investments and property.

Filing your US expat tax return accurately and on time is the best way to save. That’s where Greenback comes in!

Enjoy Germany. We’ll handle your US expat taxes.

While your tax needs may be unique—for example, if you own a business or need to catch up on your US tax filings—most Americans living in Germany need to file the following:

Federal Tax Return

All Americans living abroad need to file a federal tax return each year, if they make over the minimum filing thresholds (12,000 for filing single, 24,000 for married filing jointly). This is true even if you are filing in the country in which you reside.


State Tax Return

This varies on the last state you lived in in the US. Some states like California or Virginia require you to file a tax return, others like Washington or Texas do not. We can advise you based on your specific situation.


FBAR Reporting

If you have a financial interest in one or more overseas financial accounts and the total value of all of the financial accounts combined was $10,000 or more during any point during the tax year.

$100 per 5 accounts

The Greenback Difference

  • We go the extra - few thousand - miles.

    Whether it is finding every possible deduction to reduce your tax liability, or providing a timely answer to a question, all Greenback accountants go above and beyond to take care of our clients all around the world.

  • Messy calculations no more.

    Our accountants do all the heavy lifting when it comes to your tax return. We don’t have you do any of the financial calculations, as many firms do.

  • No tax jargon. Just clear communication.

    We take great care to explain taxes in simple terms that you can understand. Our accountants are excellent communicators who truly want you to understand what they are doing and why.

  • Ensuring your privacy with banking-grade security.

    Your privacy is always paramount. We use 256-bit data encryption, which is the same as most banks use, to ensure the highest level of security. Each client is given a personal, password-protected online folder where they upload their tax documents. Only you and your accountant will access to the files, so your private information stays just that – private.

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Free Guide
25 Things Every Expat
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