Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
I am not clear on what your question is. Are you asking if you need to file a tax return in the US?
Are you a US citizen currently living in Netherlands or are you a non US citizen? What is the source of your US income and the approximate amount per year?
As a US citizen living abroad, you are subject to the same filing requirements as every other US citizen. You are also subject to reporting your income not only from US sources, but also any foreign income that you earn. However, if you do not meet the minimum income requirements for filing a US tax return, then you do not need to file a US tax return for any year that the minimum income is not met.
If you are single and under age 65 and your total income from all sources is less then $8,750, then you do not need to file a US return. If you are married filing a separate return at any age, your minimum income for reporting is $3,400. If you are married filing a joint return and both spouses are under age 65, your minimum income for reporting is $17,500.
If your income exceeds these levels, then you are required to file a US tax return. However, if you are a permanent resident of the Netherlands, you would qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, whereby you could exclude up to a total of $85,700 of your foreign earnings.
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Thanks and let me know if you need more help.
Hello again benjamina,
No, you could have filed a return as "married filing separately" thereby avoiding having to include his income. That is what most citizens married to an alien do in your case. So you should be okay for past years that you did not file.
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Hello again Benjamina,
You are only required to file a return for those years where your personal income exceeded the minimum levels set for reporting requirements by the IRS. I gave you the current levels in an earlier post. For previous years the levels would hve been slightly lower, as they are adjusted each year to account for the current exemption amounts.
Even though you were married and your husband had a larger income, you could have filed with a filing status of "married filing separate return" which means you would only have had to report your personal income, and not had to include your husband's income. So if your personal income was below the minimum levels required for reporting, then a return did not need to be filed and there would be no fines or penalties.
If you had years which your personal income exceeded the minimum levels required for reporting and did not file a return, then if you now go back and file a return for those years, you may be subject to penalties for late filing and penalties and interest on any amount of tax which you may owe. The penalty and interest rates are adjusted quarterly. If it ends up you do not owe any tax, then there would be no penalty or interest to pay. I am giving you a link below that outlines the various penalty and interest rates if they would apply.
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