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First let me say that your family may stay in the US while you work abroad.
Hi, that's a good news
If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to an amount of your foreign earnings that is now adjusted for inflation ($91,400 for 2009, $91,500 for 2010, $92,900 for 2011). In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts. You must meet requirements to exclude.
I'm a US citizen, what are basic conditions for excluding these amounts ?
Generally, to meet the physical presence test, you must be physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during the 12-month period. You can count days you spent abroad for any reason. You do not have to be in a foreign country only for employment purposes. You can be on vacation time.
You do not meet the physical presence test if illness, family problems, a vacation, or your employer's orders cause you to be present for less than the required amount of time.Your 12 month begins when you are in the other country and ends 1 year and a day later. Ex: You are in the foreign country on Dec 3 2010. Your 12 month period ends on Dec 4 2011. During that 12 months you must have been out of the US 330 full days.
so 10 month out of 12 I need to be abroad ?
Well you will need to count the days exactly as some months have 30 days and some have 31 (do not forget leap years and the 28 or 29). Yes if audited the IRS will count those days exactly
Yes I understand I was getting the basic idea, if I earn more than the excluded amount, do I get taxed for all or just the diffrence ?
You will be taxed on the difference as well as on the calculation of the whole. It used to be that you would only be taxed on the amount over the exclusion but now it is a little more complicated.
OK, I guess I have good idea about how it works, thank you for your help.
You are welcome. You will ned Form 2555 to cliam your exclusion.
spelling.....in a hurry
one more thing, if I'm paying interst on my house -does this get deducted too ? or all other in US deductions will be ommitted ?
All the regular things stay the same. You can still claim the itemized things
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