Don’t forget to pay your US taxes if you’re living abroad!

Today is April 15th aka US tax day. And don’t forget about it if you’re an American living in Spain! US Taxes Uncle Sam The US is a great country, and I’m proud to be a US citizen. But I have to admit that it’s a bit annoying that the US requires any and every US citizen to file annual taxes, regardless of whether you live in the US. (By the way, you’re automatically given a two month extension if you live abroad). If your foreign income exceeds the designated amount for the tax year (this year it’s around $99k) you have to pay taxes. Fortunately for me (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), living with a Spanish salary I just have to mail in my tax form with the Foreign Income Exclusion form and not worry about additional taxes on top of my not-so-little Spanish taxes. Now I understand why I’ve heard stories of people renouncing their US citizenship to avoid paying US taxes. Imagine being born in Spain with dual citizenship, never having worked or lived in the US, and being forced to file US taxes when you start working. In any case, it’s important to file so that you don’t run into any issues with IRS in the future, especially if you want to go back to the US. Here’s a link with more information about filing: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad—Filing-Requirements Basically, assuming your finances are simple, you’ll need the 1040 and the 2555 EZ forms. Also, if you have a bank account with over $10,000 you have to report it to the US government by filing an FBAR (http://bsaefiling.fincen.treas.gov/NoRegFBARFiler.html). You don’t have to pay taxes, but the US just wants to know about its citizen’s foreign accounts. This year I decided to file on time and just went to the post office this afternoon to mail in my return. In a few weeks I’ll be calling the IRS to make sure everything’s in order. I tried this once a few years back when I discovered that I had to file taxes (I had no idea) and found out that there were a few black holes in my tax history that had to be patched up…. Good luck and happy filing!

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