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I have only foreign earned income for 2016 and meet the requirements for using the exclusion. The income is less than the exclusion. Do I still file a tax return?

To be clear, my only income was the income earned overseas and it was far less than the exclusion amount.  I meet the physical presence test (was living abroad the entire year).
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JohnR1
New Member

I have only foreign earned income for 2016 and meet the requirements for using the exclusion. The income is less than the exclusion. Do I still file a tax return?

Yes - you still have an obligation to file your U.S. federal return, even if all of your foreign earned income is excluded via the foreign earned income exclusion reported on Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income.

Per the IRS: "Since the foreign earned income exclusion is voluntary, you must file a tax return to claim the foreign earned income exclusion.  It does not matter if your foreign earnings are below the foreign earned income exclusion threshold."

Please see the following IRS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About International Individual Tax Matters"

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/frequently-asked-questions-about-internation...


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1 Reply
JohnR1
New Member

I have only foreign earned income for 2016 and meet the requirements for using the exclusion. The income is less than the exclusion. Do I still file a tax return?

Yes - you still have an obligation to file your U.S. federal return, even if all of your foreign earned income is excluded via the foreign earned income exclusion reported on Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income.

Per the IRS: "Since the foreign earned income exclusion is voluntary, you must file a tax return to claim the foreign earned income exclusion.  It does not matter if your foreign earnings are below the foreign earned income exclusion threshold."

Please see the following IRS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About International Individual Tax Matters"

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/frequently-asked-questions-about-internation...


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