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parul8ue
New Member

I paid foreign tax on my full foreign income $80,000 in 2016, but only part ($46,000) of it is eligible for foreign income exclusion.

Should I claim only foreign tax credit on the whole income, or claim exclusion for the eligible part, and credit for taxes paid for the part that was not excluded?
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1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Devin
New Member

I paid foreign tax on my full foreign income $80,000 in 2016, but only part ($46,000) of it is eligible for foreign income exclusion.

This is a tricky situation. To know which approach yields the lower overall tax liability you really have to run the numbers both ways. In my experience, it's usually better to claim the foreign tax credit on all income and forgo the exclusion. But sometimes the opposite is true. It depends on how much foreign tax you're paying, your total income, etc. There's really no way to know without running the numbers using only the foreign tax credit, and again with the exclusion for part of the income and the foreign tax credit for the remainder.

Also keep in mind that if you previously have claimed the foreign earned income exclusion, and you elect not to claim it this year even though you qualify, you're considered to have "revoked" the exclusion. When you revoke the foreign earned income exclusion, that generally makes you ineligible to use the foreign earned income exclusion again for the next 5 years.

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1 Reply
Devin
New Member

I paid foreign tax on my full foreign income $80,000 in 2016, but only part ($46,000) of it is eligible for foreign income exclusion.

This is a tricky situation. To know which approach yields the lower overall tax liability you really have to run the numbers both ways. In my experience, it's usually better to claim the foreign tax credit on all income and forgo the exclusion. But sometimes the opposite is true. It depends on how much foreign tax you're paying, your total income, etc. There's really no way to know without running the numbers using only the foreign tax credit, and again with the exclusion for part of the income and the foreign tax credit for the remainder.

Also keep in mind that if you previously have claimed the foreign earned income exclusion, and you elect not to claim it this year even though you qualify, you're considered to have "revoked" the exclusion. When you revoke the foreign earned income exclusion, that generally makes you ineligible to use the foreign earned income exclusion again for the next 5 years.

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