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Hi,

I'm trying to finish up my tax forms and have a few specific questions I hope someone can help me with.

1. I received a small amount of foreign unemployment compensation, but as it wasn't from the United States, should I still list this under line 19 on the 1040 form? Should foreign unemployment be reported someplace else?

2. My residence is a cooperative apartment that I own and live in. Is this considered to be foreign real estate held directly and I don't have to report it or do I need to file some other form? If so, which? Almost all apartments here are cooperatives and there are no restrictions by boards on how, when or to whom you can sell. You just list them with a real estate agent or sell privately.

3. On form 2555 - I have multiply employers and a bit of self-employment. On line 3 and 4b, can I write - "see attached" and include the names and addresses on a separate page? Also, should I include a breakdown of how much I earned from each individual employer?


Thanks so much for all the help.
 

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1. I received a small amount of foreign unemployment compensation, but as it wasn't from the United States, should I still list this under line 19 on the 1040 form? Should foreign unemployment be reported someplace else?
You're certainly on safe ground reporting that unemployment compensation on line 19 (IRS Form 1040, 2014 edition and perhaps other tax years).

You may be able to exclude some or all of your unemployment compensation in the following circumstances:

1. If there is a tax treaty that shields those benefits from U.S. taxation, even for U.S. citizens (and taking into account the savings clause), then you can file IRS Form 8833 to take the treaty position and not report those unemployment benefits.

2. As the instructions indicate, you may be able to exclude some of your unemployment benefits if you made contributions to the unemployment fund. See the instructions to IRS Form 1040 and IRS Publication 525 for details.

3. If the unemployment compensation was paid not only because of unemployment but because of a welfare need (such as being blind and unemployed) then you may be able to exclude that income. See IRS Publication 525 for details.

2. My residence is a cooperative apartment that I own and live in. Is this considered to be foreign real estate held directly and I don't have to report it or do I need to file some other form? If so, which?
I'm not sure what you have in mind here. It's not a financial account, so it's not relevant to FBAR/FATCA reporting. It's not a foreign trust as far as I can tell. Are you thinking of Form BE-10(x), the "latest craze"? My interpretation of those filing requirements would be that you (and most overseas Americans) don't have a BE-10 filing requirement.

3. On form 2555 - I have multiply employers and a bit of self-employment. On line 3 and 4b, can I write - "see attached" and include the names and addresses on a separate page? Also, should I include a breakdown of how much I earned from each individual employer?
Yes, but the preferred way to do that is to enter:

"Various. See Statement 1."

in the relevant box(es) and then attach a piece of paper labeled "Statement 1" to provide the additional details. Preferably "Statement 1" would also include, at the top, your name (or names if filing jointly), SSNs/ITINs (as applicable), and "2014 Form 1040" (i.e. the year and master form number to which the statement is attached). That's to make sure if the statement is "dropped on the floor" (metaphorically or actually) that the IRS can figure out where it belongs. If it only says "Statement 1" without any other identifying details there's a slight risk it won't get processed correctly. (Very slight, but it's nice to be helpful.)

Tax preparation software will do this sort of thing for you automatically when/if merited. Did I mention that tax preparation software is helpful, even the free stuff? ;)

If you have multiple statements, obviously you should number them uniquely. They don't necessarily have to be in sequential order within your tax form, though.
 
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