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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I have lived and worked in Australia since 2009. I have yet

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I have lived and worked in Australia since 2009. I have yet to file taxes in Australia for their financial years (which run July 1-June30) 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, but I have filed taxes every year in the USA on the income I have earned abroad. I plan on living in Australia indefinitely. Is there some kind of tax exemption I get for paying taxes in two countries? If so, how do I get the exemption?
Hi and welcome to Just Answer!

The US tax law requires US citizens - regardless where they live - to file the tax return and report all worldwide income. As an US citizen you have certain tax responsibilities with US taxing authorities. These responsibilities are separate from your responsibilities in a foreign country.
To to claim foreign earned income exclusion - the taxpayer should file either form 2555 or 2555EZ. Here are forms: Form 2555 Instruction 2555

Please be aware that - the exclusion above will not affect self-employment taxes - only income taxes. Only earned income is excludable - income from wages and self-employment. For instance - dividends, investment income, rental income, pensions, etc - are not excludable. Please also be aware that this credit is not granted automatically - you need to file a tax return and claim the credit. If the person bona fide resident of a foreign country - he/she may qualify for the foreign earned income and foreign housing exclusions and the foreign housing deduction. ($92,900 for 2011). To qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion - that should be a compensation for work done in a foreign country. If your workplace was in the US - the compensation doesn't qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion.


In additional...
If the same income is taxable abroad and in the US - you may claim a credit for taxes paid abroad - so the same income would not be taxed twice. Use the form 1116 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1116.pdf please find instructions here - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1116.pdf
The credit is limited by the US tax liability on the same income - the form 1116 is used to calculate the amount of credit. Means - if tax liability abroad is higher - there will not be US taxes on that income, but if tax liability abroad is lower - in the US you will pay the difference after the credit will be applied.

You may amend your past tax returns if you did not claim these benefits and request a refund for overpaid taxes.
Let me know if you need any help.
Be sure to ask if any clarification needed.
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