Author Topic: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?  (Read 55069 times)

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Offline theOAP

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #120 on: January 28, 2015, 04:36:43 PM »
I'm a US citizen and have been living in England since Oct 2013. My husband is English and has always work here (in England). I started working same month I moved, so for all 2014 I've been earning. My gross income for 2014 (converted to USD) is about $52,000. I don't know if my husband's income is relevant. I've been filing US taxes since 2009, as I started working in 2008 after graduating uni. Does anyone have some guidance on how to go forward? I need information regarding the filing process, as I was just used to doing them myself through turbotax in the US.
As far as your husbands income, it needn't be relevant. You may file MFS (married filing separately). In this case, only joint accounts you hold with your husband will be of interest, and then, only on the informational forms (FinCEN 114 and 8938, if above the thresholds) but you do declare the interest from those accounts on your tax return (Schedule B).

If you have used TurboTax in the past and are comfortable with it, you can continue to use it now. It can handle most of the forms required for filing from abroad.

You've two decisions: do you file MFS or MFJ (married filing jointly) and do you use form 2555 or form 1116. Most use MFS as it keeps your husband out of US tax affairs. As for the forms, 2555 is the easiest, but 1116 can be more tax advantageous. Run the figures in TurboTax both ways to find if there is an advantage.

In your case, and assuming no additional sources of income, a 1040, Schedule B, 8965 (ACA exemption), and either 2555 or 1116 would be a good start. And don't forget FinCEN 144 and/or form 8938 if you meet the requirements for filing either.

If you were working in the US up to Sept. 2013, and in the UK during Oct., Nov., and Dec. of 2013, this years return should be easier than last years.

Offline guya

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #121 on: January 28, 2015, 06:54:31 PM »
I'm a US citizen and have been living in England since Oct 2013. My husband is English and has always work here (in England). I started working same month I moved, so for all 2014 I've been earning. My gross income for 2014 (converted to USD) is about $52,000. I don't know if my husband's income is relevant. I've been filing US taxes since 2009, as I started working in 2008 after graduating uni. Does anyone have some guidance on how to go forward? I need information regarding the filing process, as I was just used to doing them myself through turbotax in the US.
The FBAR - FinCEN Form 114 - must be filed by 30 June. The tax return must be filed by 15 June.  Based on what you have said you should owe no tax, so go ahead and file.

Offline exr0se

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #122 on: January 31, 2015, 03:00:58 PM »
Thank you for all the info. I'm off to see these forms!

Offline Snowdonia

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #123 on: March 18, 2015, 04:26:08 PM »
Hello, this is all quite confusing.  I had been told in the past that I would need to file a return in the US every year whether I had income or not.  Their reasoning was to "stay on the books" specifically in regard to the future filing for social security.  I had no income last year but did file. 

This year I have roughly $1200 income from things within the US.  I have no UK income at all (housewife), nor do I have a UK bank account or investments.  I am not on my husband's bank account either.  Is their a definite rule?  Would it be a good idea to file anyway?  I'm very confused.

Thanks!
Snowdonia
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Offline theOAP

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #124 on: March 19, 2015, 05:32:07 PM »
Hello, this is all quite confusing.  I had been told in the past that I would need to file a return in the US every year whether I had income or not.
Not true. You only have to file if your total income is above the minimum threshold for your status which I assume would be Married - Filing Separate. For 2014, that threshold is $3,950.

Their reasoning was to "stay on the books" specifically in regard to the future filing for social security.
A future qualification for US Social Security will not depend on your filing a return. It will depend on your contributions that were deducted from your US source pay. If you have no US source pay, there will be no contributions. (There are instances where US SS contributions may be made on income earned in the UK, under the Totalisation Agreement, but that requires working for a US company and are limited to a 5 year period.)

I had no income last year but did file.
You may file if you wish. There are instances where applying for a spouse to enter the US requires past year US tax returns, and for that reason or others personal reasons, you may wish to continue filing; but it is not required.
 

This year I have roughly $1200 income from things within the US.  I have no UK income at all (housewife), nor do I have a UK bank account or investments.  I am not on my husband's bank account either.  Is their a definite rule?  Would it be a good idea to file anyway?  I'm very confused.
If the US source income was earned whilst resident in the UK, a new situation may arise regards UK tax requirements.

Are you self-employed? You didn't mention it, but if you are earning income from self-employment, then all the above may change for the US. Thresholds for filing and contributions to US SS fall under different requirements for the self-employed and a tax return may be required for incomes above $400(? - I'm unsure of the exact amount).


Offline k0hitsuj!

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #125 on: April 02, 2015, 05:33:12 PM »
Hello,

I have been living in the UK since June 2012 and haven't filed my tax returns since then. I thought you had to file if your employer is US based, but I have been working under UK employers since June 2013 to Nov 2013 and May 2014 to present. I appreciate any suggestions and/or recommendations on websites or if there is firm that deals with international tax returns in Wiltshire county.

Offline guya

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #126 on: April 02, 2015, 06:27:57 PM »
Hello,

I have been living in the UK since June 2012 and haven't filed my tax returns since then. I thought you had to file if your employer is US based, but I have been working under UK employers since June 2013 to Nov 2013 and May 2014 to present. I appreciate any suggestions and/or recommendations on websites or if there is firm that deals with international tax returns in Wiltshire county.

The IRS website is full of really great tip to help someone exactly in your circumstances. Have a go at doing these yourself:
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Taxpayers-Living-Abroad

Offline k0hitsuj!

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #127 on: April 02, 2015, 06:38:35 PM »
The IRS website is full of really great tip to help someone exactly in your circumstances. Have a go at doing these yourself:
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Taxpayers-Living-Abroad

Which of those free file softwares do you recommend? I have tried two of them and apparently they don't support those overseas.

Offline punktlich2

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #128 on: April 08, 2015, 04:07:23 PM »
I would not go for free. Buy a copy of TurboTax 2014 (even second-hand) http://ebay.com (I just looked, bids start at $19.99). Or pay for the online version (lots of ways to get discounts). Most people find that they need the upgraded version (or Home & Business edition, but after a very bad press the Deluxe edition buyers were offered free upgrade to include such things as rental property).

My US credit union offers free online TurboTax but I've never used that. On the other hand, I share my copy around with so many friends that the end cost is low. I put it on an old computer not connected to the Internet, and the returns are done in PDF format for printing and mailing.

I used to use 8½ x 11 paper but don't bother anymore. The IRS has not complained about A4. Maybe because nobody works there anymore: http://wapo.st/1Gmmjqz (today's Washington Post: IRS is out of money)

Offline theOAP

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #129 on: April 08, 2015, 10:09:33 PM »
Maybe because nobody works there anymore: http://wapo.st/1Gmmjqz (today's Washington Post: IRS is out of money)

A similar article today on Bloomberg. Not good news for Americans abroad seeking tax assistance after the closing of the London and other 3 foreign IRS offices, and being told to call Philadelphia.

Frank Spadea manages an IRS call center in Philadelphia, where employees sit in a cubicle farm and field questions from Americans in foreign countries. His group used to have 51 employees; it’s down to 17. Of those, he expects at least two to retire this year, and they won’t be replaced. “It’s been seven or eight years since I’ve been able to hire,” he says. Meanwhile, his staff has been overwhelmed with calls this year from Americans overseas who are confused about extra information they’re supposed to furnish under the 2010 law combating tax cheating abroad. “They are calling like crazy about that,” says Donna White, a customer service representative in the office. “You kind of get burnt out.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-04-08/an-emotional-audit-irs-workers-are-miserable-and-overwhelmed

Offline Paulina

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #130 on: April 20, 2016, 11:32:01 AM »
Many companies offer free advice when it comes to filing the returns and the new forms that came out this February, Now statement of Facts is a must with the FBAR, IRS is playing dirty  :o

Offline guya

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #131 on: July 20, 2016, 07:22:20 PM »
There are no new forms this February. I think the post must be referring to the updated Form 14653 (published in January 2016), which does no more than consolidate previous best practice in drafting a reasonable cause argument.

Offline Maikai

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #132 on: March 28, 2017, 06:18:06 PM »
Hi folks. I'm a us citizen by birth (my dad was American) I didn't live there until 2012 when I moved to Hawaii until Jan 2014. I filed taxes in Hawaii in 2013 but only just found out I have to file now I'm back in the uk. I have no toes to Hawaii other than that I lived there for 2 years. So what do we do? My husband is American so I guess we have to file 2014, 2015 and 2016 but do I looked on line and all the different forms confuse the daylights out of me! Please help

Offline guya

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #133 on: March 28, 2017, 07:18:51 PM »
Most people in your circumstances would use the IRS streamlined procedures to catch up.

Offline Snowdonia

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Re: Do I need to file a US Tax Return?
« Reply #134 on: April 11, 2017, 07:30:21 PM »
Every year I get my local (back in the states - local to my old home) tax prep professional to file for me as she's done it for years.  Every year she tells me I don't need to as I'm not employed and haven't been since I moved to the UK.  I have no other sources of income.  I'm doing the housewife thing.  I've continued to file because I was told a while ago that I had to to prove that I have "insurance" to avoid the penalty from the US.  Also I was told that kept me on the radar in terms of Social Security for when I do actually retire as I've paid into it for decades.  Am I being silly doing this?  Are these good reasons to file and are there others I've not thought of?  Yes, I could file it myself but I hate the idea of that more than I can express in words.  :)  Thanks in advance for your time and information!
Happily ever after...
Living with husband in the UK since October 2013.
Currently seeking 2nd FLR(M)
***
28 Aug 2013 - Online application/Payment
3 Sept 2013 - Biometrics appointment
5 Sept 2013 - Shipped application to Sheffield
                    w/ Priority Processing