As many of you are US citizens living abroad I’m posting this courtesy notice to remind you of your legal obligations to the good ol’ US of A.
1) You must file US taxes no matter where you live or what other country you pay taxes to. Visit www.irs.gov for more information.
2) You must file the FBAR (report of foreign bank accounts) by June 30th and there is no opportunity for an extension. Visit http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/main.html for more information.
The good news for some of you:
You might not have to file taxes if you have no income and your spouse is not a US citizen or Green Card carrier. Then your filing status can be married filing separately, and you do not have to declare your spouses income.
The not-so-bad news for many of you:
Because many countries have double-taxation relief treaties it is possible you won’t end up owing the IRS any money, but you still have to file.
EVERYONE who has more than $10,000 in combined assets in non-US banks has to file the FBAR. The US isn’t asking for any of your money, they just want to know everything about your finances.
I could say something about cultural power here. As an upstanding citizen I have to report to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network simply because I fell in love when traveling our wonderful world and settled down outside the US.
Sorry I have no real post, but my taxes and FBAR were super complicated this year (even though I’m not rich enough to owe any money) and all my computer time has been spent on that.
This is not legal advice, you are solely responsible for your situation (insert appropriate lawyer talk here). I am just an average person trying to do the right thing and help people.
And if you live in the United States, count yourself lucky you only have one set of income taxes to file!