Frequently Asked Questions

1.  I am a U.S. citizen. Do I have to file a U.S. tax-return if I am living outside of the United States? 

Yes. All U.S. citizens must file annual tax returns with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service reporting their world-wide income. The normal dollar thresholds apply to the filing requirement, just as if you were living in the United States.

2.  I am not a U.S. citizen. Do I have to file a U.S. tax-return? 

 Maybe. If you have income from the United States (job, investments, or rentals, for example), you may need to file. Often tax payments will be withheld from your U.S. income to pay the tax in advance. You will need to file a return to at least get back your withheld money.

3.  Do I need to pay tax on my income to both the U.S. and my foreign country of residence? 

Potentially yes. You will likely need to file with both the U.S. and your foreign country of residence. Pay your foreign tax first, and then have your U.S. taxes computed. There are several ways to exclude foreign income from U.S. income tax or to give credit for taxes paid to foreign countries. The issues are complex and a tax expert can be helpful.

4.  When do I need to file a tax return? 

 All taxes should be paid by April 15. The returns are due on June 15 if you are abroad on April 15. An extension will be granted on request to extend the deadline for filing the return to October 15. However, the taxes themselves are still due on April 15 to avoid penalties and interest for late payment. If you wish an extension until October 15, file Form 4868. This form can be filed directly on the I.R.S. website (irs.gov), and your complete Form 1040 will then not be due until October 15.

5.  Do I need to report my foreign bank accounts?

Yes.  Interest and dividends from all foreign bank and investment accounts must be reported on Schedule B of Form 1040.  If your total deposits in all foreign banks and investment firms exceeded $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, you must also separately file a disclosure form FinCEN Form 114, no later than October 15th of the following year.  If your total deposits in all foreign banks exceeded $200,000 on the last day of the year, you may also have to file disclosure Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) with your Form 1040.

6.  Do I need to file a state income tax return also? 

Maybe. A few states expect their citizens to continue to file annual income tax returns if you have rental income from property held in that state or until you establish residency in another state within the U.S.  So, if you live abroad, you may need to continue to file your annual state return with the state from which you left.  

7.  I own more than 10% of the stock in a foreign corporation. Do I need to report this? Yes. Persons who own more than 10% of the stock in a foreign corporation must file Form 5471 with their tax return. This is an informational form, and no additional tax is due. However, the form is complex, and assistance in completing it may be helpful.

Request a Consultation

Contact us to discuss your USA tax returns with no obligation at a convenient location in Den Haag.  Click here for directions.  

RALPH'S TAX SERVICE VOF
Postbus 38
2630 AA  Nootdorp
The Netherlands

tel  +31 (0) 65 779 7684

fax  +31 (0) 70 891 0370

email ralph@ralphstaxservice.com