US tax return requirement for US citizens living in Europe

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US tax return requirement for US citizens living in Europe


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Old 18th April 2019, 09:52 PM
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Default US tax return requirement for US citizens living in Europe

My wife and I are both US citizens and are moving to Germany in a few months. We're financially stable and don't intend to actually make too much money once in Germany, most likely stay under 20,000 Euros gross income per year as a couple. Now in the USA the IRS does not require a married couple who has always done their taxes jointly to file taxes if the tax year ends with a combined $24,000 for a couple or $12,000 for an individual.

My question is, does this also apply to expats? In other words, do we have to file a tax return with the IRS or not IF our COMBINED income does not exceed $24,000 gross per year? I know we'll have to file german taxes but this question is purely limited to the IRS and the US.....

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Old 19th April 2019, 06:27 AM
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The short answer is yes, you still have to file - IF you meet the regular requirements for filing. Living overseas doesn't change much of anything for US taxpayers, as you are always considered "tax resident" in the US until and unless you renounce your US nationality (and that costs $2350 a person).

Do check out the US-Germany tax treaty, however. Because that one grants Germany the sole right to tax your US SS benefits. (Unlike some of the treaties which make the US the one to tax US benefits.)

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Old 19th April 2019, 03:37 PM
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I understand that I have to file US taxes IF I meet the requirement. However again, I do not meet the requirement, married US couple combined gross is say $22,000 in a given year living in Germany - in the US I do not have to file if under 24k (12k as individual), you're telling me as an expat now I do have to file? Or did I read your response wrong....

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Old 19th April 2019, 08:06 PM
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Your obligation to file is precisely the same as it is in the US. If $24,000 is the threshold, then income under that figure means you don't have to file. Just remember that you are expected to report your worldwide income to both the US and German tax authorities. You may find it a bit difficult living in Germany on only $24,000 a year for a married couple. That's only a bit over 21,000 , which really isn't much in Germany.

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