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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29558
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I hold a U.S. passport and citizenship, but became landed immigrant

Customer Question

I hold a U.S. passport and citizenship, but became landed immigrant in Canada in 1985. I have been living and working in Canada since that time for a total of 25 years this October. I was never advised by a U.S. immigration officer that I was to fill out a U.S. tax return in addition to a Canadian tax return at the time of my immigration to Canada. It has recently come to my attention that I was to have filed a U.S. tax return every year. Is this true? What are the steps to rectify it if it is?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 6 years ago.

-- If you are an US citizen - you are required to report all your worldwide income.

Filing requirements are based on total income are same - for all US persons.


As an US person living abroad - you may claim a foreign earned income exclusion.

The person may qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion - he/she should:
-- Work and reside outside the United States for at least 330 days during the year, or
-- Meet either the Bona Fide or Physical Presence tests.
If the person qualifies, he/she may exclude up to $91,500 (2010 in foreign wages -- plus housing allowances (limited to 30% of the earned income exclusion).

To receive that exclusion - the taxpayer should file either form 2555 or 2555EZ.

Here are forms you likely need: 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, 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.


Let me know if you need any help.