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moijj
Returning Member

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

Hi! I am a Green Card holder. Last year (2019) I spent 9 months abroad in my home country, outside the USA. What should I mark on my tax return? Should I mark that "moved" during the year or no? I never made any announcements etc. as this stay outside the USA was not meant to be that long. Do I need to pay taxes to the USA from the money I earned when I worked abroad?

Thank you in advance. 

7 Replies
KarenJ2
Expert Alumni

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

If you did not actually move overseas, I would not indicate that you moved.

 

As a green card holder, you must file a US return every year and declare your worldwide income.  If you paid taxes in  your home country, you could claim foreign tax credits to help offset any double taxation.

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moijj
Returning Member

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

Hi, thank you very much for your help! I did pay taxes in my home country. My earnings for the entire year are very low though (less than 13 000). Does the amount of earnings have any effect on the process/what needs to be declared? I received benefits in my hoke country too as I was unemployed for a couple of months. In the turbo tax form, when asked for my earnings, should I then just calculate everything together (wages and benefits received) and upload the tax form from my home country also into my file , even though it's different from a W2 and in a foreign language? thank you again.

LinaJ2020
Expert Alumni

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

 

 

First of all, as a US resident, you need to report worldwide income including both the US and foreign and you only need to file if you meet the filing requirements.  To see if you are required to file, see the image below. 

 

Secondly, you do not need to upload any statements.  Just add up all the income amount from both US and foreign.  For the foreign currency, convert them to the US dollar.  You only need to keep the foreign income statements for substantiation upon IRS requests. 

 

To enter your foreign income, in TurboTax online, here are the steps:

 

  • After sign into your account, select Pick up where you left off
  • At the right upper corner, in the search box, type in foreign income and Enter 
  • Select Jump to foreign income 

 

2019 filing requirements

 

@moijj

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moijj
Returning Member

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

Hi, thank you for your help! I traveled abroad at the end of March 2019 (and was away for 9 months) ,  but have been living consistently in NYC since December 2015 full-time (only went on a few week vacations every 6 months or so). Should I then just say that I was a full time/full year NYC resident in my 2019 state return? I'm confused now about how the rules go with this one.

Thank you again!

KarenJ2
Expert Alumni

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

From your information, your domicile is  in NYC and you will be taxed in NYC on all your income you received in 2019.

 

I would file as a full year resident of NYC.

 

On your federal return you can claim a foreign tax credit to help offset double taxation.  You need to convert your foreign income to USD and enter information in the foreign earned income exclusion section.  You will need to enter the amount here whether or not you want to apply foreign tax credit.  It is the only way to enter foreign non W-2 wages in TurboTax.

 

Go through the foreign earned income exclusion section and complete the questions on the screens.  You will come to a screen that says you do not qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion but may qualify for foreign tax credit.  

 

NY State Definitions of Residency

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moijj
Returning Member

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

Thank you very much, I will file as a full year resident then. 

But I still have a couple of questions that I'm battling with: 

It is asking me if my mailing address was also my permanent home address as of December 31st 2019? That is when I was still abroad. I returned to the USA on the first week of January 2020. So, I should enter my foreign address there because I was physically there at that time, or should I just put my USA address in it to avoid confusion now that I'm fling as a full year resident?

Also: I earner 9 500 $ foreign income during 2019, so if I have understood correctly- I do not need to file this as it is below 12 200 $ (I'm single and under 65 years)?

Lastly: It is asking me if I have any foreign assets, such as a bank account. I've always had a bank account in my home country even while I have been living here in the USA for the past years because I decided to keep it open. I think last year I was not forced to upgrade my turbo tax into the Deluxe version because of this but now it's telling me that I need to upgrade into Deluxe because of my foreign assets. Do you think I really need to say I have foreign assets when I just have a normal bank account in my home country with very little money in there (less than 300 $) ? I don't have any savings, not even a saving account,  and I'm a very low income person (my income last year was less than 13 000 $ and I'm always barely scraping by)  .. It just feels unjust to have to pay for Turbo Tax service just for having a normal bank account in a foreign country that has hardly any money in it..? 

Thank you again very much for your help!!  

KarenJ2
Expert Alumni

How to file as a Green Card holder when I spent 9 months abroad

You should just enter your US address as your permanent residence.

 

You do not have to file a tax return if your total income for the year, including the income earned in your home country converted to USD was less than $12,200 (unless the income you earned abroad was self-employment income). 

 

For NY, generally, you must file a New York State income tax return if you're a New York State resident and are required to file a federal return. You may also have to file a New York State return if you're a nonresident of New York and you have income from New York State sources.

 

You can go to the IRS website and print Form Sch B and check the box at the bottom of the page (7a) that says you have a foreign bank account.  However, check "no" that you do not have to file the FinCEN.

 

You will need to print your return and attach Schedule B (be sure to put your name and SSN on Schedule B).  You will need to mail your return.  The US Treasury Department is very focused on foreign bank account so it is important, if you file a return, that you include this form.  You can either upgrade in TurboTax and e-file or print and mail your return.

 

2019 Schedule B

 

 

If you do file a tax return, you must include your worldwide income even if it was less than $12,200.  

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