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Did You Make Money Overseas in 2011?

The IRS has tax tips for that!

 

The Internal Revenue Service reminds U.S. citizens and resident aliens, including those with dual citizenship who have lived or worked abroad during all or part of 2011, that they may have a U.S. tax liability and a filing requirement in 2012.

The IRS offers the following seven tips for taxpayers with foreign income:

  1. Filing deadline U.S. citizens and resident aliens residing overseas or those serving in the military outside the U.S. on the regular due date of their tax return have until June 15, 2012 to file their federal income tax return. To use this automatic two-month extension beyond the regular April 17, 2012 deadline, taxpayers must attach a statement to their return explaining which of the two situations above qualifies them for the extension.
  2. World-wide income Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts.
  3. Tax forms In most cases, affected taxpayers need to fill out and attach Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends, to their tax return. Certain taxpayers may also have to fill out and attach to their tax return the new Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets. Some taxpayers may also have to file Form TD F 90-22.1 with the Treasury Department by June 30, 2012.
  4. Foreign earned income exclusion Many Americans who live and work abroad qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion. If you qualify for tax year 2011, this exclusion enables you to exempt up to $92,900 of wages and other foreign earned income from U.S. tax.
  5. Credits and deductions You may be able to take either a credit or a deduction for income taxes paid to a foreign country or a U.S. possession. This benefit is designed to lessen the tax burden that results when both the U.S. and another country tax income from that country.
  6. Free File Taxpayers abroad can now use IRS Free File. This means U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad with adjusted gross income of $57,000 or less can use brand-name software to prepare their returns and then electronically file them for free.
  7. Tax help If you live outside the U.S., the IRS has full-time permanent staff in four U.S. embassies and consulates. A list is available on the IRS Website – www.irs.gov - in the Contact Your Local Office Section, under International. These offices have tax forms and publications that can help you with filing issues and answer your questions about notices and bills.

More information is available in Publication 4261, Do You Have a Foreign Financial Account?

IRS publications, forms and more information on topics useful to individual international taxpayers can be found on the International Taxpayer page on the IRS website.

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