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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10096
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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If I am a US citizen living abroad who qualifies foreign

Customer Question

If I am a US citizen living abroad who qualifies for the foreign earned income exclusion, which forms do I have to file in order to be in compliance? I lived all of 2014 abroad and only returned in 2015 to visit for a month. My tax home is Germany.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
Hello,he Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is filed on IRW form 2555...https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2555.pdf...and attach to form 1040...<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">Please let me know if you have any questions at all.<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">...<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the smile or stars on +your screen, and then clicking “submit”)<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">…<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">I receive no crediting at all unless you rate in this way.<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">...<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">Thank you!<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">Lane<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">…<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:3.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:3.0pt;
margin-left:0in;line-height:15.0pt">… I hold a law degree (JD, Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in finance & tax, as well as CFP® and CRPS designations. - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, both for-profit and non-profit, and tax advice, on three continents, since 1986
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
That's not what I was asking; my question is whether the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is the only form I have to file if I only earned income abroad while living abroad and earning below the threshold
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
I answered the question. The form 2555 and the 1040 are the only forms you have to file....2555 (as all tax forms) is an attachment, a schedule, that flows TO the 1040 ... creating a negative number on line 21, which reduces (or eliminates, depending on the level of income) - threshold as you refer to it - AGI, hence taxable income....If the total income that you report is $99,200 for 2014 ($100,800 for 2015), that negative number will reduce your tax owed to zero
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I don't have to file a 1040?
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
everyone files a 1040
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
Again, it's that negative number on line 21`of the 1040 (which comes FROM the 2555) that reduces your taxable income to zero (IF your actual income is less than the year's exclusion amount)
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
If this HAS helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the faces or stars on your screen, and then clicking “submit”)…I receive no crediting at all unless you rate in this way....Thank you!Lane……I hold a law degree (JD, Juris Doctorate), with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, with specialization in finance & tax, as well as CFP® and CRPS designations. - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, both for-profit and non-profit, and tax advice, on three continents, since 1986
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do my wife and I (if we are filing jointly) file separate 2555's?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I also had more than one employer; how do I list them on 2555?
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
Husband ad wife complete their own respective 2555's...The IRS form provides space for only one employer, and unfortunately they have never published any guidance regarding what to do when multiple employers are present. I know of preparers who've used all of the following methods, and never heard of anybody having problems with any of them: -If there's room, enter both names, addresses, etc. separated by a "&" or "/" character. This method won't work if the countries were different, because there's only one country field and the values are pre-defined.-Enter the employer info as of the end of the year.-Enter the employer from whom you received the most wages.-Enter "see statement" for employer name, address, etc. info, and file your return by mail with a separate page that lists the complete information for both employers....Entirely up to you, IRS has not said any of these methods are wrong. Just make sure when you enter income that you're entering the total income from both employers.
Expert:  Lane replied 6 months ago.
Would really appreciate a positive rating (using the smile or stars on your screen, and then clicking “submit”)…Otherwise I'm working for no crediting at all here....Thank you!Lane……I hold a law degree, (concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law), an MBA, (specialization in finance & tax), as well as CFP and CRPS designations. - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, both for-profit and non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.

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