Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
I met Roger B. Adams on the Internet, and he quickly became one of my best friends. At the time, he was just learning about taxes as a volunteer at the U.S. embassy in Lisbon, Portugal, helping Americans overseas file their tax returns.
During the first couple of years of our acquaintance, Roger got hooked on taxes. He immersed himself in international tax issues, passed the IRS Special Enrollment Examination, and became the head of the Volunteer Embassy and Consular Tax Assistance (VECTA) team in Portugal. Roger, now an enrolled agent, re-wrote the training materials and trained the Portuguese government’s staff in Azores and other places. (The IRS has since eliminated the VECTA program.)
Whenever international tax questions arise, I ask Roger. So, let’s ask.
First of all, it’s important to know that every American (citizen or green-card holder) must report all worldwide income to the IRS.
True, there is a Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) on Form 2555 that excludes taxes on up to $91,500 of your wages or business income earned overseas. This is only available when you file a tax return. Although this exclusion allows you to avoid taxes on the earnings, you are still responsible for paying your self-employment taxes on your business profits.
Besides, this doesn’t exclude taxes on interest, dividends, pensions, and other types of unearned income. That income is taxable in the United States.
Many Americans, thinking they are exempt, don’t bother to file at all. Uh oh. You may have already thrown away money you’re entitled to get. But don’t worry. It may be easier to catch up than you think.
Why? Because when you file tax returns in the countries where you reside, the taxes you pay can offset any you might owe in the United States.
Sometimes, we have tax treaties with other countries whereby only they or only the United States will tax certain kinds of income. You can look up your own country in this State Department publication showing the treaties, effective January 1, 2011.
The IRS has an entire section of its website devoted to taxpayers living abroad or foreigners working in the United States. You can call to get help from IRS staff at the Philadelphia campus or at one of the permanent IRS offices in England, Germany, France, or China.
If you need special clarification or assistance when tax issues between the United States and your country may cause a hardship, you’ll want to get in touch with the competent authority. The IRS can provide you with information on how to submit issues to this office.
Finally, I learned an interesting twist from Roger. Sometimes, you’re better off not using the FEIE. By reporting all your income, you could be eligible for certain refundable credits (child tax credits, for instance) or to fund your IRA or retirement accounts, and you could not take advantage of these options if your income were not taxable.
Hmmm…do you think it’s time to review your recent tax returns to see if you can amend them to snag some refunds?
Best Tax Tips: The Tax Effects of School Supplies and Courses
2012 Standard Mileage Rate: How it affects Your Business Vehicle
Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups: Best Tax Tips
August 2011 Summer Tax-Free Days
Common Mistakes the Self-Employed Make
How Divorce Affects Your Tax Return
Sales Tax – Are All Those Receipts Worth Saving?
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.