If you have excluded all the Foreign Earned Income from your tax return and there is no taxable income being reported on the tax return, then the tax return cannot be e-filed. It will have to be printed and mailed.
However, you can include $1 of interest income so the return will have taxable income reported and then you will be able to e-file. Report the interest income on a Form 1099-INT. You can use any name for the payer of the interest and then enter $1 in box 1 of the form.
Enter 1099-int in the Search box located in the upper right of the program screen. Click on Jump to 1099-int
I applied the $1 interest workaround but the platform does not simply allow e-filing for expats, because towards the end it prompts for a US-based phone number.
It is really an issue that should be escalated since Turbo Tax is listed among the available IRS free file programs for US Citizens living abroad right on the IRS website.
I have interest income and a US phone number entered but still cannot get my efiling through from abroad. There was never any warning in Turbotax that this would be an issue, and there is no mention of it anywhere in the help section. This is a big problem that really should be corrected! Turbotax is one of the most recommended programs for expat returns, and this will greatly delay receipt of my return in the US, plus there are long lines and quarantine restrictions that make filing my mail very problematic for many right now.
The deadline to e-file was October 15. If your e-file was rejected on 10-15 you can still try to fix it and e-file it again. If you are trying to e-file for the first time--you can't. Your return will have to be printed signed and mailed.
I did start before the 15th. I tried it again with the same information but using a US VPN, and this time it was accepted by the IRS. If anyone else cares to try that fix, you can get access to a US VPN for one month from Windscribe for $1US.
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