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Free Taxes H&r Block

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The Free Taxes H&r Block

Free taxes h&r block 4. Free taxes h&r block   Foreign Earned Income and Housing: Exclusion – Deduction Table of Contents Topics - This chapter discusses: Useful Items - You may want to see: Who Qualifies for the Exclusions and the Deduction? RequirementsTax Home in Foreign Country Bona Fide Residence Test Physical Presence Test Waiver of Time Requirements U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Travel Restrictions Foreign Earned Income Foreign Earned Income ExclusionLimit on Excludable Amount Choosing the Exclusion Foreign Housing Exclusion and DeductionHousing Amount Foreign Housing Exclusion Foreign Housing Deduction Married Couples Form 2555 and Form 2555-EZForm 2555-EZ Form 2555 Topics - This chapter discusses: Who qualifies for the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, and the foreign housing deduction, The requirements that must be met to claim either exclusion or the deduction, How to figure the foreign earned income exclusion, and How to figure the foreign housing exclusion and the foreign housing deduction. Free taxes h&r block Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 519 U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Tax Guide for Aliens 570 Tax Guide for Individuals With Income from U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Possessions 596 Earned Income Credit (EIC) Form (and Instructions) 1040X Amended U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Individual Income Tax Return 2555 Foreign Earned Income 2555-EZ Foreign Earned Income Exclusion See chapter 7 for information about getting these publications and forms. Free taxes h&r block Who Qualifies for the Exclusions and the Deduction? If you meet certain requirements, you may qualify for the foreign earned income and foreign housing exclusions and the foreign housing deduction. Free taxes h&r block If you are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. Free taxes h&r block However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to $97,600 of your foreign earnings. Free taxes h&r block In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts. Free taxes h&r block See Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction, later. Free taxes h&r block You also may be entitled to exclude from income the value of meals and lodging provided to you by your employer. Free taxes h&r block See Exclusion of Meals and Lodging, later. Free taxes h&r block Requirements To claim the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, or the foreign housing deduction, you must meet all three of the following requirements. Free taxes h&r block Your tax home must be in a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block You must have foreign earned income. Free taxes h&r block You must be one of the following. Free taxes h&r block A U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block A U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect and who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block A U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen or a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block resident alien who is physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 consecutive months. Free taxes h&r block See Publication 519 to find out if you are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block resident alien for tax purposes and whether you keep that alien status when you temporarily work abroad. Free taxes h&r block If you are a nonresident alien married to a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen or resident alien, and both you and your spouse choose to treat you as a resident alien, you are a resident alien for tax purposes. Free taxes h&r block For information on making the choice, see the discussion in chapter 1 under Nonresident Alien Spouse Treated as a Resident . Free taxes h&r block Waiver of minimum time requirements. Free taxes h&r block   The minimum time requirements for bona fide residence and physical presence can be waived if you must leave a foreign country because of war, civil unrest, or similar adverse conditions in that country. Free taxes h&r block This is fully explained under Waiver of Time Requirements , later. Free taxes h&r block   See Figure 4-A and information in this chapter to determine if you are eligible to claim either exclusion or the deduction. Free taxes h&r block Tax Home in Foreign Country To qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, or the foreign housing deduction, your tax home must be in a foreign country throughout your period of bona fide residence or physical presence abroad. Free taxes h&r block Bona fide residence and physical presence are explained later. Free taxes h&r block Tax Home Your tax home is the general area of your main place of business, employment, or post of duty, regardless of where you maintain your family home. Free taxes h&r block Your tax home is the place where you are permanently or indefinitely engaged to work as an employee or self-employed individual. Free taxes h&r block Having a “tax home” in a given location does not necessarily mean that the given location is your residence or domicile for tax purposes. Free taxes h&r block If you do not have a regular or main place of business because of the nature of your work, your tax home may be the place where you regularly live. Free taxes h&r block If you have neither a regular or main place of business nor a place where you regularly live, you are considered an itinerant and your tax home is wherever you work. Free taxes h&r block You are not considered to have a tax home in a foreign country for any period in which your abode is in the United States. Free taxes h&r block However, your abode is not necessarily in the United States while you are temporarily in the United States. Free taxes h&r block Your abode is also not necessarily in the United States merely because you maintain a dwelling in the United States, whether or not your spouse or dependents use the dwelling. Free taxes h&r block “Abode” has been variously defined as one's home, habitation, residence, domicile, or place of dwelling. Free taxes h&r block It does not mean your principal place of business. Free taxes h&r block “Abode” has a domestic rather than a vocational meaning and does not mean the same as “tax home. Free taxes h&r block ” The location of your abode often will depend on where you maintain your economic, family, and personal ties. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You are employed on an offshore oil rig in the territorial waters of a foreign country and work a 28-day on/28-day off schedule. Free taxes h&r block You return to your family residence in the United States during your off periods. Free taxes h&r block You are considered to have an abode in the United States and do not satisfy the tax home test in the foreign country. Free taxes h&r block You cannot claim either of the exclusions or the housing deduction. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block For several years, you were a marketing executive with a producer of machine tools in Toledo, Ohio. Free taxes h&r block In November of last year, your employer transferred you to London, England, for a minimum of 18 months to set up a sales operation for Europe. Free taxes h&r block Before you left, you distributed business cards showing your business and home addresses in London. Free taxes h&r block You kept ownership of your home in Toledo but rented it to another family. Free taxes h&r block You placed your car in storage. Free taxes h&r block In November of last year, you moved your spouse, children, furniture, and family pets to a home your employer rented for you in London. Free taxes h&r block Shortly after moving, you leased a car and you and your spouse got British driving licenses. Free taxes h&r block Your entire family got library cards for the local public library. Free taxes h&r block You and your spouse opened bank accounts with a London bank and secured consumer credit. Free taxes h&r block You joined a local business league and both you and your spouse became active in the neighborhood civic association and worked with a local charity. Free taxes h&r block Your abode is in London for the time you live there. Free taxes h&r block You satisfy the tax home test in the foreign country. Free taxes h&r block Please click here for the text description of the image. Free taxes h&r block Figure 4–A Can I Claim the Exclusion or Deduction? Temporary or Indefinite Assignment The location of your tax home often depends on whether your assignment is temporary or indefinite. Free taxes h&r block If you are temporarily absent from your tax home in the United States on business, you may be able to deduct your away-from-home expenses (for travel, meals, and lodging), but you would not qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion. Free taxes h&r block If your new work assignment is for an indefinite period, your new place of employment becomes your tax home and you would not be able to deduct any of the related expenses that you have in the general area of this new work assignment. Free taxes h&r block If your new tax home is in a foreign country and you meet the other requirements, your earnings may qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion. Free taxes h&r block If you expect your employment away from home in a single location to last, and it does last, for 1 year or less, it is temporary unless facts and circumstances indicate otherwise. Free taxes h&r block If you expect it to last for more than 1 year, it is indefinite. Free taxes h&r block If you expect it to last for 1 year or less, but at some later date you expect it to last longer than 1 year, it is temporary (in the absence of facts and circumstances indicating otherwise) until your expectation changes. Free taxes h&r block Once your expectation changes, it is indefinite. Free taxes h&r block Foreign Country To meet the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, you must live in or be present in a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block A foreign country includes any territory under the sovereignty of a government other than that of the United States. Free taxes h&r block The term “foreign country” includes the country's airspace and territorial waters, but not international waters and the airspace above them. Free taxes h&r block It also includes the seabed and subsoil of those submarine areas adjacent to the country's territorial waters over which it has exclusive rights under international law to explore and exploit the natural resources. Free taxes h&r block The term “foreign country” does not include Antarctica or U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block possessions such as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Virgin Islands, and Johnston Island. Free taxes h&r block For purposes of the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, and the foreign housing deduction, the terms “foreign,” “abroad,” and “overseas” refer to areas outside the United States and those areas listed or described in the previous sentence. Free taxes h&r block American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Residence or presence in a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block possession does not qualify you for the foreign earned income exclusion. Free taxes h&r block You may, however, qualify for an exclusion of your possession income on your U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block return. Free taxes h&r block American Samoa. Free taxes h&r block   There is a possession exclusion available to individuals who are bona fide residents of American Samoa for the entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block Gross income from sources within American Samoa may be eligible for this exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Income that is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within American Samoa also may be eligible for this exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Use Form 4563, Exclusion of Income for Bona Fide Residents of American Samoa, to figure the exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Free taxes h&r block   An exclusion will be available to residents of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands if, and when, new implementation agreements take effect between the United States and those possessions. Free taxes h&r block   For more information, see Publication 570. Free taxes h&r block Puerto Rico and U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Virgin Islands Residents of Puerto Rico and the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Virgin Islands cannot claim the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign housing exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Puerto Rico. Free taxes h&r block   Generally, if you are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen who is a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the entire tax year, you are not subject to U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block tax on income from Puerto Rican sources. Free taxes h&r block This does not include amounts paid for services performed as an employee of the United States. Free taxes h&r block However, you are subject to U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block tax on your income from sources outside Puerto Rico. Free taxes h&r block In figuring your U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block tax, you cannot deduct expenses allocable to income not subject to tax. Free taxes h&r block Bona Fide Residence Test You meet the bona fide residence test if you are a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block You can use the bona fide residence test to qualify for the exclusions and the deduction only if you are either: A U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen, or A U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect. Free taxes h&r block You do not automatically acquire bona fide resident status merely by living in a foreign country or countries for 1 year. Free taxes h&r block If you go to a foreign country to work on a particular job for a specified period of time, you ordinarily will not be regarded as a bona fide resident of that country even though you work there for 1 tax year or longer. Free taxes h&r block The length of your stay and the nature of your job are only two of the factors to be considered in determining whether you meet the bona fide residence test. Free taxes h&r block Bona fide residence. Free taxes h&r block   To meet the bona fide residence test, you must have established a bona fide residence in a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block   Your bona fide residence is not necessarily the same as your domicile. Free taxes h&r block Your domicile is your permanent home, the place to which you always return or intend to return. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You could have your domicile in Cleveland, Ohio, and a bona fide residence in Edinburgh, Scotland, if you intend to return eventually to Cleveland. Free taxes h&r block The fact that you go to Scotland does not automatically make Scotland your bona fide residence. Free taxes h&r block If you go there as a tourist, or on a short business trip, and return to the United States, you have not established bona fide residence in Scotland. Free taxes h&r block But if you go to Scotland to work for an indefinite or extended period and you set up permanent quarters there for yourself and your family, you probably have established a bona fide residence in a foreign country, even though you intend to return eventually to the United States. Free taxes h&r block You are clearly not a resident of Scotland in the first instance. Free taxes h&r block However, in the second, you are a resident because your stay in Scotland appears to be permanent. Free taxes h&r block If your residency is not as clearly defined as either of these illustrations, it may be more difficult to decide whether you have established a bona fide residence. Free taxes h&r block Determination. Free taxes h&r block   Questions of bona fide residence are determined according to each individual case, taking into account factors such as your intention, the purpose of your trip, and the nature and length of your stay abroad. Free taxes h&r block   To meet the bona fide residence test, you must show the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that you have been a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block The IRS decides whether you are a bona fide resident of a foreign country largely on the basis of facts you report on Form 2555. Free taxes h&r block IRS cannot make this determination until you file Form 2555. Free taxes h&r block Statement to foreign authorities. Free taxes h&r block   You are not considered a bona fide resident of a foreign country if you make a statement to the authorities of that country that you are not a resident of that country, and the authorities: Hold that you are not subject to their income tax laws as a resident, or Have not made a final decision on your status. Free taxes h&r block Special agreements and treaties. Free taxes h&r block   An income tax exemption provided in a treaty or other international agreement will not in itself prevent you from being a bona fide resident of a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block Whether a treaty prevents you from becoming a bona fide resident of a foreign country is determined under all provisions of the treaty, including specific provisions relating to residence or privileges and immunities. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen employed in the United Kingdom by a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block employer under contract with the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Armed Forces. Free taxes h&r block You are not subject to the North Atlantic Treaty Status of Forces Agreement. Free taxes h&r block You may be a bona fide resident of the United Kingdom. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen in the United Kingdom who qualifies as an “employee” of an armed service or as a member of a “civilian component” under the North Atlantic Treaty Status of Forces Agreement. Free taxes h&r block You are not a bona fide resident of the United Kingdom. Free taxes h&r block Example 3. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen employed in Japan by a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block employer under contract with the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Armed Forces. Free taxes h&r block You are subject to the agreement of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan. Free taxes h&r block Being subject to the agreement does not make you a bona fide resident of Japan. Free taxes h&r block Example 4. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen employed as an “official” by the United Nations in Switzerland. Free taxes h&r block You are exempt from Swiss taxation on the salary or wages paid to you by the United Nations. Free taxes h&r block This does not prevent you from being a bona fide resident of Switzerland. Free taxes h&r block Effect of voting by absentee ballot. Free taxes h&r block   If you are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen living abroad, you can vote by absentee ballot in any election held in the United States without risking your status as a bona fide resident of a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block   However, if you give information to the local election officials about the nature and length of your stay abroad that does not match the information you give for the bona fide residence test, the information given in connection with absentee voting will be considered in determining your status, but will not necessarily be conclusive. Free taxes h&r block Uninterrupted period including entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block   To meet the bona fide residence test, you must reside in a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year. Free taxes h&r block An entire tax year is from January 1 through December 31 for taxpayers who file their income tax returns on a calendar year basis. Free taxes h&r block   During the period of bona fide residence in a foreign country, you can leave the country for brief or temporary trips back to the United States or elsewhere for vacation or business. Free taxes h&r block To keep your status as a bona fide resident of a foreign country, you must have a clear intention of returning from such trips, without unreasonable delay, to your foreign residence or to a new bona fide residence in another foreign country. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You arrived with your family in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 1, 2011. Free taxes h&r block Your assignment is indefinite, and you intend to live there with your family until your company sends you to a new post. Free taxes h&r block You immediately established residence there. Free taxes h&r block You spent April of 2012 at a business conference in the United States. Free taxes h&r block Your family stayed in Lisbon. Free taxes h&r block Immediately following the conference, you returned to Lisbon and continued living there. Free taxes h&r block On January 1, 2013, you completed an uninterrupted period of residence for a full tax year (2012), and you meet the bona fide residence test. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that you transferred back to the United States on December 13, 2012. Free taxes h&r block You would not meet the bona fide residence test because your bona fide residence in the foreign country, although it lasted more than a year, did not include a full tax year. Free taxes h&r block You may, however, qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion or the housing exclusion or deduction under the physical presence test (discussed later). Free taxes h&r block Bona fide resident for part of a year. Free taxes h&r block   Once you have established bona fide residence in a foreign country for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year, you are a bona fide resident of that country for the period starting with the date you actually began the residence and ending with the date you abandon the foreign residence. Free taxes h&r block Your period of bona fide residence can include an entire tax year plus parts of 2 other tax years. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You were a bona fide resident of Singapore from March 1, 2011, through September 14, 2013. Free taxes h&r block On September 15, 2013, you returned to the United States. Free taxes h&r block Since you were a bona fide resident of a foreign country for all of 2012, you were also a bona fide resident of a foreign country from March 1, 2011, through the end of 2011 and from January 1, 2013, through September 14, 2013. Free taxes h&r block Reassignment. Free taxes h&r block   If you are assigned from one foreign post to another, you may or may not have a break in foreign residence between your assignments, depending on the circumstances. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You were a resident of Pakistan from October 1, 2012, through November 30, 2013. Free taxes h&r block On December 1, 2013, you and your family returned to the United States to wait for an assignment to another foreign country. Free taxes h&r block Your household goods also were returned to the United States. Free taxes h&r block Your foreign residence ended on November 30, 2013, and did not begin again until after you were assigned to another foreign country and physically entered that country. Free taxes h&r block Since you were not a bona fide resident of a foreign country for the entire tax year of 2012 or 2013 you do not meet the bona fide residence test in either year. Free taxes h&r block You may, however, qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion or the housing exclusion or deduction under the physical presence test, discussed later. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except that upon completion of your assignment in Pakistan you were given a new assignment to Turkey. Free taxes h&r block On December 1, 2013, you and your family returned to the United States for a month's vacation. Free taxes h&r block On January 2, 2014, you arrived in Turkey for your new assignment. Free taxes h&r block Because you did not interrupt your bona fide residence abroad, you meet the bona fide residence test. Free taxes h&r block Physical Presence Test You meet the physical presence test if you are physically present in a foreign country or countries 330 full days during a period of 12 consecutive months. Free taxes h&r block The 330 days do not have to be consecutive. Free taxes h&r block Any U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen or resident alien can use the physical presence test to qualify for the exclusions and the deduction. Free taxes h&r block The physical presence test is based only on how long you stay in a foreign country or countries. Free taxes h&r block This test does not depend on the kind of residence you establish, your intentions about returning, or the nature and purpose of your stay abroad. Free taxes h&r block 330 full days. Free taxes h&r block   Generally, to meet the physical presence test, you must be physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during a 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block You can count days you spent abroad for any reason. Free taxes h&r block You do not have to be in a foreign country only for employment purposes. Free taxes h&r block You can be on vacation. Free taxes h&r block   You do not meet the physical presence test if illness, family problems, a vacation, or your employer's orders cause you to be present for less than the required amount of time. Free taxes h&r block Exception. Free taxes h&r block   You can be physically present in a foreign country or countries for less than 330 full days and still meet the physical presence test if you are required to leave a country because of war or civil unrest. Free taxes h&r block See Waiver of Time Requirements, later. Free taxes h&r block Full day. Free taxes h&r block   A full day is a period of 24 consecutive hours, beginning at midnight. Free taxes h&r block Travel. Free taxes h&r block    When you leave the United States to go directly to a foreign country or when you return directly to the United States from a foreign country, the time you spend on or over international waters does not count toward the 330-day total. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You leave the United States for France by air on June 10. Free taxes h&r block You arrive in France at 9:00 a. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on June 11. Free taxes h&r block Your first full day of physical presence in France is June 12. Free taxes h&r block Passing over foreign country. Free taxes h&r block   If, in traveling from the United States to a foreign country, you pass over a foreign country before midnight of the day you leave, the first day you can count toward the 330-day total is the day following the day you leave the United States. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You leave the United States by air at 9:30 a. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on June 10 to travel to Kenya. Free taxes h&r block You pass over western Africa at 11:00 p. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on June 10 and arrive in Kenya at 12:30 a. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on June 11. Free taxes h&r block Your first full day in a foreign country is June 11. Free taxes h&r block Change of location. Free taxes h&r block   You can move about from one place to another in a foreign country or to another foreign country without losing full days. Free taxes h&r block If any part of your travel is not within any foreign country and takes less than 24 hours, you are considered to be in a foreign country during that part of travel. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You leave Ireland by air at 11:00 p. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on July 6 and arrive in Sweden at 5:00 a. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on July 7. Free taxes h&r block Your trip takes less than 24 hours and you lose no full days. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block You leave Norway by ship at 10:00 p. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on July 6 and arrive in Portugal at 6:00 a. Free taxes h&r block m. Free taxes h&r block on July 8. Free taxes h&r block Since your travel is not within a foreign country or countries and the trip takes more than 24 hours, you lose as full days July 6, 7, and 8. Free taxes h&r block If you remain in Portugal, your next full day in a foreign country is July 9. Free taxes h&r block In United States while in transit. Free taxes h&r block   If you are in transit between two points outside the United States and are physically present in the United States for less than 24 hours, you are not treated as present in the United States during the transit. Free taxes h&r block You are treated as traveling over areas not within any foreign country. Free taxes h&r block    Please click here for the text description of the image. Free taxes h&r block Figure 4-B How to figure the 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block   There are four rules you should know when figuring the 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block Your 12-month period can begin with any day of the month. Free taxes h&r block It ends the day before the same calendar day, 12 months later. Free taxes h&r block Your 12-month period must be made up of consecutive months. Free taxes h&r block Any 12-month period can be used if the 330 days in a foreign country fall within that period. Free taxes h&r block You do not have to begin your 12-month period with your first full day in a foreign country or end it with the day you leave. Free taxes h&r block You can choose the 12-month period that gives you the greatest exclusion. Free taxes h&r block In determining whether the 12-month period falls within a longer stay in the foreign country, 12-month periods can overlap one another. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You are a construction worker who works on and off in a foreign country over a 20-month period. Free taxes h&r block You might pick up the 330 full days in a 12-month period only during the middle months of the time you work in the foreign country because the first few and last few months of the 20-month period are broken up by long visits to the United States. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block You work in New Zealand for a 20-month period from January 1, 2012, through August 31, 2013, except that you spend 28 days in February 2012 and 28 days in February 2013 on vacation in the United States. Free taxes h&r block You are present in New Zealand for at least 330 full days during each of the following two 12-month periods: January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012 and September 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013. Free taxes h&r block By overlapping the 12-month periods in this way, you meet the physical presence test for the whole 20-month period. Free taxes h&r block See Figure 4-B, on the previous page. Free taxes h&r block Waiver of Time Requirements Both the bona fide residence test and the physical presence test contain minimum time requirements. Free taxes h&r block The minimum time requirements can be waived, however, if you must leave a foreign country because of war, civil unrest, or similar adverse conditions in that country. Free taxes h&r block You must be able to show that you reasonably could have expected to meet the minimum time requirements if not for the adverse conditions. Free taxes h&r block To qualify for the waiver, you must actually have your tax home in the foreign country and be a bona fide resident of, or be physically present in, the foreign country on or before the beginning date of the waiver. Free taxes h&r block Early in 2014, the IRS will publish in the Internal Revenue Bulletin a list of the only countries that qualify for the waiver for 2013 and the effective dates. Free taxes h&r block If you left one of the countries on or after the date listed for each country, you can meet the bona fide residence test or physical presence test for 2013 without meeting the minimum time requirement. Free taxes h&r block However, in figuring your exclusion, the number of your qualifying days of bona fide residence or physical presence includes only days of actual residence or presence within the country. Free taxes h&r block U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Travel Restrictions If you are present in a foreign country in violation of U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block law, you will not be treated as a bona fide resident of a foreign country or as physically present in a foreign country while you are in violation of the law. Free taxes h&r block Income that you earn from sources within such a country for services performed during a period of violation does not qualify as foreign earned income. Free taxes h&r block Your housing expenses within that country (or outside that country for housing your spouse or dependents) while you are in violation of the law cannot be included in figuring your foreign housing amount. Free taxes h&r block For 2013, the only country to which travel restrictions applied was Cuba. Free taxes h&r block The restrictions applied for the entire year. Free taxes h&r block However, individuals working at the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are not in violation of U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block law. Free taxes h&r block Personal service income earned by individuals at the base is eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion provided the other requirements are met. Free taxes h&r block Foreign Earned Income To claim the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, or the foreign housing deduction, you must have foreign earned income. Free taxes h&r block Foreign earned income generally is income you receive for services you perform during a period in which you meet both of the following requirements. Free taxes h&r block Your tax home is in a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block You meet either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test. Free taxes h&r block To determine whether your tax home is in a foreign country, see Tax Home in Foreign Country, earlier. Free taxes h&r block To determine whether you meet either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, see Bona Fide Residence Test and Physical Presence Test, earlier. Free taxes h&r block Foreign earned income does not include the following amounts. Free taxes h&r block The value of meals and lodging that you exclude from your income because the meals and lodging were furnished for the convenience of your employer. Free taxes h&r block Pension or annuity payments you receive, including social security benefits (see Pensions and annuities, later). Free taxes h&r block Pay you receive as an employee of the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government. Free taxes h&r block (See U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government Employees, later. Free taxes h&r block ) Amounts you include in your income because of your employer's contributions to a nonexempt employee trust or to a nonqualified annuity contract. Free taxes h&r block Any unallowable moving expense deduction that you choose to recapture as explained under Moving Expense Attributable to Foreign Earnings in 2 Years in chapter 5. Free taxes h&r block Payments you receive after the end of the tax year following the tax year in which you performed the services that earned the income. Free taxes h&r block Earned income. Free taxes h&r block   This is pay for personal services performed, such as wages, salaries, or professional fees. Free taxes h&r block The list that follows classifies many types of income into three categories. Free taxes h&r block The column headed Variable Income lists income that may fall into either the earned income category, the unearned income category, or partly into both. Free taxes h&r block For more information on earned and unearned income, see Earned and Unearned Income, later. Free taxes h&r block Earned Income Unearned Income Variable Income Salaries and wages Dividends Business profits Commissions Interest Royalties Bonuses Capital gains Rents Professional fees Gambling winnings Scholarships and fellowships Tips Alimony     Social security benefits     Pensions     Annuities     In addition to the types of earned income listed, certain noncash income and allowances or reimbursements are considered earned income. Free taxes h&r block Noncash income. Free taxes h&r block   The fair market value of property or facilities provided to you by your employer in the form of lodging, meals, or use of a car is earned income. Free taxes h&r block Allowances or reimbursements. Free taxes h&r block   Earned income includes allowances or reimbursements you receive, such as the following amounts. Free taxes h&r block    Cost-of-living allowances. Free taxes h&r block Overseas differential. Free taxes h&r block Family allowance. Free taxes h&r block Reimbursement for education or education allowance. Free taxes h&r block Home leave allowance. Free taxes h&r block Quarters allowance. Free taxes h&r block Reimbursement for moving or moving allowance (unless excluded from income as discussed later in Reimbursement of employee expenses under Earned and Unearned Income). Free taxes h&r block Source of Earned Income The source of your earned income is the place where you perform the services for which you received the income. Free taxes h&r block Foreign earned income is income you receive for working in a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block Where or how you are paid has no effect on the source of the income. Free taxes h&r block For example, income you receive for work done in Austria is income from a foreign source even if the income is paid directly to your bank account in the United States and your employer is located in New York City. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen, a bona fide resident of Canada, and working as a mining engineer. Free taxes h&r block Your salary is $76,800 per year. Free taxes h&r block You also receive a $6,000 cost-of-living allowance, and a $6,000 education allowance. Free taxes h&r block Your employment contract did not indicate that you were entitled to these allowances only while outside the United States. Free taxes h&r block Your total income is $88,800. Free taxes h&r block You work a 5-day week, Monday through Friday. Free taxes h&r block After subtracting your vacation, you have a total of 240 workdays in the year. Free taxes h&r block You worked in the United States during the year for 6 weeks (30 workdays). Free taxes h&r block The following shows how to figure the part of your income that is for work done in Canada during the year. Free taxes h&r block   Number of days worked in Canada during the year (210) × Total income ($88,800) = $77,700     Number of days of work during the year for which payment was made (240)   Your foreign source earned income is $77,700. Free taxes h&r block Earned and Unearned Income Earned income was defined earlier as pay for personal services performed. Free taxes h&r block Some types of income are not easily identified as earned or unearned income. Free taxes h&r block Some of these types of income are further explained here. Free taxes h&r block Income from a sole proprietorship or partnership. Free taxes h&r block   Income from a business in which capital investment is an important part of producing the income may be unearned income. Free taxes h&r block If you are a sole proprietor or partner and your personal services are also an important part of producing the income, the part of the income that represents the value of your personal services will be treated as earned income. Free taxes h&r block Capital a factor. Free taxes h&r block   If capital investment is an important part of producing income, no more than 30% of your share of the net profits of the business is earned income. Free taxes h&r block   If you have no net profits, the part of your gross profit that represents a reasonable allowance for personal services actually performed is considered earned income. Free taxes h&r block Because you do not have a net profit, the 30% limit does not apply. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen and meet the bona fide residence test. Free taxes h&r block You invest in a partnership based in Cameroon that is engaged solely in selling merchandise outside the United States. Free taxes h&r block You perform no services for the partnership. Free taxes h&r block At the end of the tax year, your share of the net profits is $80,000. Free taxes h&r block The entire $80,000 is unearned income. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block Assume that in Example 1 you spend time operating the business. Free taxes h&r block Your share of the net profits is $80,000; 30% of your share of the profits is $24,000. Free taxes h&r block If the value of your services for the year is $15,000, your earned income is limited to the value of your services, $15,000. Free taxes h&r block Capital not a factor. Free taxes h&r block   If capital is not an income-producing factor and personal services produce the business income, the 30% rule does not apply. Free taxes h&r block The entire amount of business income is earned income. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You and Lou Green are management consultants and operate as equal partners in performing services outside the United States. Free taxes h&r block Because capital is not an income- producing factor, all the income from the partnership is considered earned income. Free taxes h&r block Income from a corporation. Free taxes h&r block   The salary you receive from a corporation is earned income only if it represents a reasonable allowance as compensation for work you do for the corporation. Free taxes h&r block Any amount over what is considered a reasonable salary is unearned income. Free taxes h&r block Example 1. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen and an officer and stockholder of a corporation in Honduras. Free taxes h&r block You perform no work or service of any kind for the corporation. Free taxes h&r block During the tax year you receive a $10,000 “salary” from the corporation. Free taxes h&r block The $10,000 clearly is not for personal services and is unearned income. Free taxes h&r block Example 2. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen and work full time as secretary-treasurer of your corporation. Free taxes h&r block During the tax year you receive $100,000 as salary from the corporation. Free taxes h&r block If $80,000 is a reasonable allowance as pay for the work you did, then $80,000 is earned income. Free taxes h&r block Stock options. Free taxes h&r block   You may have earned income if you disposed of stock that you got by exercising a stock option granted to you under an employee stock purchase plan. Free taxes h&r block   If your gain on the disposition of stock you got by exercising an option is treated as capital gain, your gain is unearned income. Free taxes h&r block   However, if you disposed of the stock less than 2 years after you were granted the option or less than 1 year after you got the stock, part of the gain on the disposition may be earned income. Free taxes h&r block It is considered received in the year you disposed of the stock and earned in the year you performed the services for which you were granted the option. Free taxes h&r block Any part of the earned income that is due to work you did outside the United States is foreign earned income. Free taxes h&r block   See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for a discussion of the treatment of stock options. Free taxes h&r block Pensions and annuities. Free taxes h&r block    For purposes of the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, and the foreign housing deduction, amounts received as pensions or annuities are unearned income. Free taxes h&r block Royalties. Free taxes h&r block   Royalties from the leasing of oil and mineral lands and patents generally are a form of rent or dividends and are unearned income. Free taxes h&r block   Royalties received by a writer are earned income if they are received: For the transfer of property rights of the writer in the writer's product, or Under a contract to write a book or series of articles. Free taxes h&r block Rental income. Free taxes h&r block   Generally, rental income is unearned income. Free taxes h&r block If you perform personal services in connection with the production of rent, up to 30% of your net rental income can be considered earned income. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block Larry Smith, a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen living in Australia, owns and operates a rooming house in Sydney. Free taxes h&r block If he is operating the rooming house as a business that requires capital and personal services, he can consider up to 30% of net rental income as earned income. Free taxes h&r block On the other hand, if he just owns the rooming house and performs no personal services connected with its operation, except perhaps making minor repairs and collecting rents, none of his net income from the house is considered earned income. Free taxes h&r block It is all unearned income. Free taxes h&r block Professional fees. Free taxes h&r block   If you are engaged in a professional occupation (such as a doctor or lawyer), all fees received in the performance of these services are earned income. Free taxes h&r block Income of an artist. Free taxes h&r block   Income you receive from the sale of paintings you created is earned income. Free taxes h&r block Scholarships and fellowships. Free taxes h&r block   Any portion of a scholarship or fellowship grant that is paid to you for teaching, research or other services is considered earned income if you must include it in your gross income. Free taxes h&r block If the payer of the grant is required to provide you with a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, these amounts will be listed as wages. Free taxes h&r block    Certain scholarship and fellowship income may be exempt under other provisions. Free taxes h&r block See Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, chapter 1. Free taxes h&r block Use of employer's property or facilities. Free taxes h&r block   If you receive fringe benefits in the form of the right to use your employer's property or facilities, the fair market value of that right is earned income. Free taxes h&r block Fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being required to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the necessary facts. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You are privately employed and live in Japan all year. Free taxes h&r block You are paid a salary of $6,000 a month. Free taxes h&r block You live rent-free in a house provided by your employer that has a fair rental value of $3,000 a month. Free taxes h&r block The house is not provided for your employer's convenience. Free taxes h&r block You report on the calendar-year, cash basis. Free taxes h&r block You received $72,000 salary from foreign sources plus $36,000 fair rental value of the house, or a total of $108,000 of earned income. Free taxes h&r block Reimbursement of employee expenses. Free taxes h&r block   If you are reimbursed under an accountable plan (defined below) for expenses you incur on your employer's behalf and you have adequately accounted to your employer for the expenses, do not include the reimbursement for those expenses in your earned income. Free taxes h&r block   The expenses for which you are reimbursed are not considered allocable (related) to your earned income. Free taxes h&r block If expenses and reimbursement are equal, there is nothing to allocate to excluded income. Free taxes h&r block If expenses are more than the reimbursement, the unreimbursed expenses are considered to have been incurred in producing earned income and must be divided between your excluded and included income in determining the amount of unreimbursed expenses you can deduct. Free taxes h&r block (See chapter 5. Free taxes h&r block ) If the reimbursement is more than the expenses, no expenses remain to be divided between excluded and included income and the excess reimbursement must be included in earned income. Free taxes h&r block   These rules do not apply to the following individuals. Free taxes h&r block Straight-commission salespersons. Free taxes h&r block Employees who have arrangements with their employers under which taxes are not withheld on a percentage of the commissions because the employers consider that percentage to be attributable to the employees' expenses. Free taxes h&r block Accountable plan. Free taxes h&r block   An accountable plan is a reimbursement or allowance arrangement that includes all three of the following rules. Free taxes h&r block The expenses covered under the plan must have a business connection. Free taxes h&r block The employee must adequately account to the employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time. Free taxes h&r block The employee must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time. Free taxes h&r block Reimbursement of moving expenses. Free taxes h&r block   Reimbursement of moving expenses may be earned income. Free taxes h&r block You must include as earned income: Any reimbursements of, or payments for, nondeductible moving expenses, Reimbursements that are more than your deductible expenses and that you do not return to your employer, Any reimbursements made (or treated as made) under a nonaccountable plan (any plan that does not meet the rules listed above for an accountable plan), even if they are for deductible expenses, and Any reimbursement of moving expenses you deducted in an earlier year. Free taxes h&r block This section discusses reimbursements that must be included in earned income. Free taxes h&r block Publication 521, Moving Expenses, discusses additional rules that apply to moving expense deductions and reimbursements. Free taxes h&r block   The rules for determining when the reimbursement is considered earned or where the reimbursement is considered earned may differ somewhat from the general rules previously discussed. Free taxes h&r block   Although you receive the reimbursement in one tax year, it may be considered earned for services performed, or to be performed, in another tax year. Free taxes h&r block You must report the reimbursement as income on your return in the year you receive it, even if it is considered earned during a different year. Free taxes h&r block Move from U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block to foreign country. Free taxes h&r block   If you move from the United States to a foreign country, your moving expense reimbursement is generally considered pay for future services to be performed at the new location. Free taxes h&r block The reimbursement is considered earned solely in the year of the move if you qualify for the exclusion for a period that includes at least 120 days during that tax year. Free taxes h&r block   If you are neither a bona fide resident of nor physically present in a foreign country or countries for a period that includes 120 days during the year of the move, a portion of the reimbursement is considered earned in the year of the move and a portion is considered earned in the year following the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block To figure the amount earned in the year of the move, multiply the reimbursement by a fraction. Free taxes h&r block The numerator (top number) is the number of days in your qualifying period that fall within the year of the move, and the denominator (bottom number) is the total number of days in the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block   The difference between the total reimbursement and the amount considered earned in the year of the move is the amount considered earned in the year following the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block The part earned in each year is figured as shown in the following example. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen working in the United States. Free taxes h&r block You were told in October 2012 that you were being transferred to a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block You arrived in the foreign country on December 15, 2012, and you are a bona fide resident for the remainder of 2012 and all of 2013. Free taxes h&r block Your employer reimbursed you $2,000 in January 2013 for the part of the moving expense that you were not allowed to deduct. Free taxes h&r block Because you did not qualify for the exclusion under the bona fide residence test for at least 120 days in 2012 (the year of the move), the reimbursement is considered pay for services performed in the foreign country for both 2012 and 2013. Free taxes h&r block You figure the part of the reimbursement for services performed in the foreign country in 2012 by multiplying the total reimbursement by a fraction. Free taxes h&r block The fraction is the number of days during which you were a bona fide resident in 2012 (the year of the move) divided by 366. Free taxes h&r block The remaining part of the reimbursement is for services performed in the foreign country in 2013. Free taxes h&r block This computation is used only to determine when the reimbursement is considered earned. Free taxes h&r block You would include the amount of the reimbursement in income in 2013, the year you received it. Free taxes h&r block Move between foreign countries. Free taxes h&r block   If you move between foreign countries, any moving expense reimbursement that you must include in income will be considered earned in the year of the move if you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion for a period that includes at least 120 days in the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block Move to U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block   If you move to the United States, the moving expense reimbursement that you must include in income is generally considered to be U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block source income. Free taxes h&r block   However, if under either an agreement between you and your employer or a statement of company policy that is reduced to writing before your move to the foreign country, your employer will reimburse you for your move back to the United States regardless of whether you continue to work for the employer, the includible reimbursement is considered compensation for past services performed in the foreign country. Free taxes h&r block The includible reimbursement is considered earned in the year of the move if you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion for a period that includes at least 120 days during that year. Free taxes h&r block Otherwise, you treat the includible reimbursement as received for services performed in the foreign country in the year of the move and the year immediately before the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block   See the discussion under Move from U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block to foreign country , earlier, to figure the amount of the includible reimbursement considered earned in the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block The amount earned in the year before the year of the move is the difference between the total includible reimbursement and the amount earned in the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block citizen employed in a foreign country. Free taxes h&r block You retired from employment with your employer on March 31, 2013, and returned to the United States after having been a bona fide resident of the foreign country for several years. Free taxes h&r block A written agreement with your employer entered into before you went abroad provided that you would be reimbursed for your move back to the United States. Free taxes h&r block In April 2013, your former employer reimbursed you $4,000 for the part of the cost of your move back to the United States that you were not allowed to deduct. Free taxes h&r block Because you were not a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for a period that included at least 120 days in 2013 (the year of the move), the includible reimbursement is considered pay for services performed in the foreign country for both 2013 and 2012. Free taxes h&r block You figure the part of the moving expense reimbursement for services performed in the foreign country for 2013 by multiplying the total includible reimbursement by a fraction. Free taxes h&r block The fraction is the number of days of foreign residence during the year (90) divided by the number of days in the year (365). Free taxes h&r block The remaining part of the includible reimbursement is for services performed in the foreign country in 2012. Free taxes h&r block You report the amount of the includible reimbursement in 2013, the year you received it. Free taxes h&r block    In this example, if you met the physical presence test for a period that included at least 120 days in 2013, the moving expense reimbursement would be considered earned entirely in the year of the move. Free taxes h&r block Storage expense reimbursements. Free taxes h&r block   If you are reimbursed for storage expenses, the reimbursement is for services you perform during the period of time for which the storage expenses are incurred. Free taxes h&r block U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government Employees For purposes of the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, and the foreign housing deduction, foreign earned income does not include any amounts paid by the United States or any of its agencies to its employees. Free taxes h&r block This includes amounts paid from both appropriated and nonappropriated funds. Free taxes h&r block The following organizations (and other organizations similarly organized and operated under United States Army, Navy, or Air Force regulations) are integral parts of the Armed Forces, agencies, or instrumentalities of the United States. Free taxes h&r block United States Armed Forces exchanges. Free taxes h&r block Commissioned and noncommissioned officers' messes. Free taxes h&r block Armed Forces motion picture services. Free taxes h&r block Kindergartens on foreign Armed Forces installations. Free taxes h&r block Amounts paid by the United States or its agencies to persons who are not their employees may qualify for exclusion or deduction. Free taxes h&r block If you are a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government employee paid by a U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block agency that assigned you to a foreign government to perform specific services for which the agency is reimbursed by the foreign government, your pay is from the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government and does not qualify for exclusion or deduction. Free taxes h&r block If you have questions about whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, get Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide. Free taxes h&r block American Institute in Taiwan. Free taxes h&r block   Amounts paid by the American Institute in Taiwan are not foreign earned income for purposes of the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, or the foreign housing deduction. Free taxes h&r block If you are an employee of the American Institute in Taiwan, allowances you receive are exempt from U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block tax up to the amount that equals tax-exempt allowances received by civilian employees of the U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government. Free taxes h&r block Allowances. Free taxes h&r block   Cost-of-living and foreign-area allowances paid under certain acts of Congress to U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block civilian officers and employees stationed in Alaska and Hawaii or elsewhere outside the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia can be excluded from gross income. Free taxes h&r block Post differentials are wages that must be included in gross income, regardless of the act of Congress under which they are paid. Free taxes h&r block More information. Free taxes h&r block   Publication 516, U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government Civilian Employees Stationed Abroad, has more information for U. Free taxes h&r block S. Free taxes h&r block Government employees abroad. Free taxes h&r block Exclusion of Meals and Lodging You do not include in your income the value of meals and lodging provided to you and your family by your employer at no charge if the following conditions are met. Free taxes h&r block The meals are furnished: On the business premises of your employer, and For the convenience of your employer. Free taxes h&r block The lodging is furnished: On the business premises of your employer, For the convenience of your employer, and As a condition of your employment. Free taxes h&r block If these conditions are met, do not include the value of the meals or lodging in your income, even if a law or your employment contract says that they are provided as compensation. Free taxes h&r block Amounts you do not include in income because of these rules are not foreign earned income. Free taxes h&r block If you receive a Form W-2, excludable amounts should not be included in the total reported in box 1 as wages. Free taxes h&r block Family. Free taxes h&r block   Your family, for this purpose, includes only your spouse and your dependents. Free taxes h&r block Lodging. Free taxes h&r block   The value of lodging includes the cost of heat, electricity, gas, water, sewer service, and similar items needed to make the lodging fit to live in. Free taxes h&r block Business premises of employer. Free taxes h&r block   Generally, the business premises of your employer is wherever you work. Free taxes h&r block For example, if you work as a housekeeper, meals and lodging provided in your employer's home are provided on the business premises of your employer. Free taxes h&r block Similarly, meals provided to cowhands while herding cattle on land leased or owned by their employer are considered provided on the premises of their employer. Free taxes h&r block Convenience of employer. Free taxes h&r block   Whether meals or lodging are provided for your employer's convenience must be determined from all the facts and circumstances. Free taxes h&r block Meals furnished at no charge are considered provided for your employer's convenience if there is a good business reason for providing them, other than to give you more pay. Free taxes h&r block   On the other hand, if your employer provides meals to you or your family as a means of giving you more pay, and there is no other business reason for providing them, their value is extra income to you because they are not furnished for the convenience of your employer. Free taxes h&r block Condition of employment. Free taxes h&r block   Lodging is provided as a condition of employment if you must accept the lodging to properly carry out the duties of your job. Free taxes h&r block You must accept lodging to properly carry out your duties if, for example, you must be available for duty at all times or you could not perform your duties if the lodging was not furnished. Free taxes h&r block Foreign camps. Free taxes h&r block   If the lodging is in a camp located in a foreign country, the camp is considered part of your employer's business premises. Free taxes h&r block The camp must be: Provided for your employer's convenience because the place where you work is in a remote area where satisfactory housing is not available to you on the open market within a reasonable commuting distance, Located as close as reasonably possible in the area where you work, and Provided in a common area or enclave that is not available to the general public for lodging or accommodations and that normally houses at least ten employees. Free taxes h&r block Foreign Earned Income Exclusion If your tax home is in a foreign country and you meet the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, you can choose to exclude from your income a limited amount of your foreign earned income. Free taxes h&r block Foreign earned income was defined earlier in this chapter. Free taxes h&r block You also can choose to exclude from your income a foreign housing amount. Free taxes h&r block This is explained later under Foreign Housing Exclusion. Free taxes h&r block If you choose to exclude a foreign housing amount, you must figure the foreign housing exclusion before you figure the foreign earned income exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Your foreign earned income exclusion is limited to your foreign earned income minus your foreign housing exclusion. Free taxes h&r block If you choose to exclude foreign earned income, you cannot deduct, exclude, or claim a credit for any item that can be allocated to or charged against the excluded amounts. Free taxes h&r block This includes any expenses, losses, and other normally deductible items allocable to the excluded income. Free taxes h&r block For more information about deductions and credits, see chapter 5 . Free taxes h&r block Limit on Excludable Amount You may be able to exclude up to $97,600 of your foreign earned income in 2013. Free taxes h&r block You cannot exclude more than the smaller of: $97,600, or Your foreign earned income (discussed earlier) for the tax year minus your foreign housing exclusion (discussed later). Free taxes h&r block If both you and your spouse work abroad and each of you meets either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, you can each choose the foreign earned income exclusion. Free taxes h&r block You do not both need to meet the same test. Free taxes h&r block Together, you and your spouse can exclude as much as $195,200. Free taxes h&r block Paid in year following work. Free taxes h&r block   Generally, you are considered to have earned income in the year in which you do the work for which you receive the income, even if you work in one year but are not paid until the following year. Free taxes h&r block If you report your income on a cash basis, you report the income on your return for the year you receive it. Free taxes h&r block If you work one year, but are not paid for that work until the next year, the amount you can exclude in the year you are paid is the amount you could have excluded in the year you did the work if you had been paid in that year. Free taxes h&r block For an exception to this general rule, see Year-end payroll period, later. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You were a bona fide resident of Brazil for all of 2012 and 2013. Free taxes h&r block You report your income on the cash basis. Free taxes h&r block In 2012, you were paid $84,200 for work you did in Brazil during that year. Free taxes h&r block You excluded all of the $84,200 from your income in 2012. Free taxes h&r block In 2013, you were paid $117,300 for your work in Brazil. Free taxes h&r block $18,800 was for work you did in 2012 and $98,500 was for work you did in 2013. Free taxes h&r block You can exclude $10,900 of the $18,800 from your income in 2013. Free taxes h&r block This is the $95,100 maximum exclusion in 2012 minus the $84,200 actually excluded that year. Free taxes h&r block You must include the remaining $7,900 in income in 2013 because you could not have excluded that income in 2012 if you had received it that year. Free taxes h&r block You can exclude $97,600 of the $98,500 you were paid for work you did in 2013 from your 2013 income. Free taxes h&r block Your total foreign earned income exclusion for 2013 is $108,500 ($10,900 for work you did in 2012 and $97,600 for work you did in 2013). Free taxes h&r block You would include in your 2013 income $8,800 ($7,900 for the work you did in 2012 and $900 for the work you did in 2013). Free taxes h&r block Year-end payroll period. Free taxes h&r block   There is an exception to the general rule that income is considered earned in the year you do the work for which you receive the income. Free taxes h&r block If you are a cash-basis taxpayer, any salary or wage payment you receive after the end of the year in which you do the work for which you receive the pay is considered earned entirely in the year you receive it if all four of the following apply. Free taxes h&r block The period for which the payment is made is a normal payroll period of your employer that regularly applies to you. Free taxes h&r block The payroll period includes the last day of your tax year (December 31 if you figure your taxes on a calendar-year basis). Free taxes h&r block The payroll period is not longer than 16 days. Free taxes h&r block The payday comes at the same time in relation to the payroll period that it would normally come and it comes before the end of the next payroll period. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You are paid twice a month. Free taxes h&r block For the normal payroll period that begins on the first of the month and ends on the fifteenth of the month, you are paid on the sixteenth day of the month. Free taxes h&r block For the normal payroll period that begins on the sixteenth of the month and ends on the last day of the month, you are paid on the first day of the following month. Free taxes h&r block Because all of the above conditions are met, the pay you received on January 1, 2013, is considered earned in 2013. Free taxes h&r block Income earned over more than 1 year. Free taxes h&r block   Regardless of when you actually receive income, you must apply it to the year in which you earned it in figuring your excludable amount for that year. Free taxes h&r block For example, a bonus may be based on work you did over several years. Free taxes h&r block You determine the amount of the bonus that is considered earned in a particular year in two steps. Free taxes h&r block Divide the bonus by the number of calendar months in the period when you did the work that resulted in the bonus. Free taxes h&r block Multiply the result of (1) by the number of months you did the work during the year. Free taxes h&r block This is the amount that is subject to the exclusion limit for that tax year. Free taxes h&r block Income received more than 1 year after it was earned. Free taxes h&r block   You cannot exclude income you receive after the end of the year following the year you do the work to earn it. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block   You were a bona fide resident of Sweden for 2011, 2012, and 2013. Free taxes h&r block You report your income on the cash basis. Free taxes h&r block In 2011, you were paid $69,000 for work you did in Sweden that year and in 2012 you were paid $74,000 for that year's work in Sweden. Free taxes h&r block You excluded all the income on your 2011 and 2012 returns. Free taxes h&r block   In 2013, you were paid $92,000; $82,000 for your work in Sweden during 2013, and $10,000 for work you did in Sweden in 2011. Free taxes h&r block You cannot exclude any of the $10,000 for work done in 2011 because you received it after the end of the year following the year in which you earned it. Free taxes h&r block You must include the $10,000 in income. Free taxes h&r block You can exclude all of the $82,000 received for work you did in 2013. Free taxes h&r block Community income. Free taxes h&r block   The maximum exclusion applies separately to the earnings of spouses. Free taxes h&r block Ignore any community property laws when you figure your limit on the foreign earned income exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Part-year exclusion. Free taxes h&r block   If the period for which you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion includes only part of the year, you must adjust the maximum limit based on the number of qualifying days in the year. Free taxes h&r block The number of qualifying days is the number of days in the year within the period on which you both: Have your tax home in a foreign country, and Meet either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test. Free taxes h&r block   For this purpose, you can count as qualifying days all days within a period of 12 consecutive months once you are physically present and have your tax home in a foreign country for 330 full days. Free taxes h&r block To figure your maximum exclusion, multiply the maximum excludable amount for the year by the number of your qualifying days in the year, and then divide the result by the number of days in the year. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You report your income on the calendar-year basis and you qualified for the foreign earned income exclusion under the bona fide residence test for 75 days in 2013. Free taxes h&r block You can exclude a maximum of 75/365 of $97,600, or $20,055, of your foreign earned income for 2013. Free taxes h&r block If you qualify under the bona fide residence test for all of 2014, you can exclude your foreign earned income up to the 2014 limit. Free taxes h&r block Physical presence test. Free taxes h&r block   Under the physical presence test, a 12-month period can be any period of 12 consecutive months that includes 330 full days. Free taxes h&r block If you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion under the physical presence test for part of a year, it is important to carefully choose the 12-month period that will allow the maximum exclusion for that year. Free taxes h&r block Example. Free taxes h&r block You are physically present and have your tax home in a foreign country for a 16-month period from June 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013, except for 16 days in December 2012 when you were on vacation in the United States. Free taxes h&r block You figure the maximum exclusion for 2012 as follows. Free taxes h&r block Beginning with June 1, 2012, count forward 330 full days. Free taxes h&r block Do not count the 16 days you spent in the United States. Free taxes h&r block The 330th day, May 12, 2013, is the last day of a 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block Count backward 12 months from May 11, 2013, to find the first day of this 12-month period, May 12, 2012. Free taxes h&r block This 12-month period runs from May 12, 2012, through May 11, 2013. Free taxes h&r block Count the total days during 2012 that fall within this 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block This is 234 days (May 12, 2012 – December 31, 2012). Free taxes h&r block Multiply $95,100 (the maximum exclusion for 2012) by the fraction 234/366 to find your maximum exclusion for 2012 ($60,802). Free taxes h&r block You figure the maximum exclusion for 2013 in the opposite manner. Free taxes h&r block Beginning with your last full day, September 30, 2013, count backward 330 full days. Free taxes h&r block Do not count the 16 days you spent in the United States. Free taxes h&r block That day, October 20, 2012, is the first day of a 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block Count forward 12 months from October 20, 2012, to find the last day of this 12-month period, October 19, 2013. Free taxes h&r block This 12-month period runs from October 20, 2012, through October 19, 2013. Free taxes h&r block Count the total days during 2013 that fall within this 12-month period. Free taxes h&r block This is 292 days (January 1, 2013 – October 19, 2013). Free taxes h&r block Multiply $97,600, the maximum limit, by the fraction 292/365 to find your maximum exclusion for 2013 ($78,080). Free taxes h&r block Choosing the Exclusion The foreign earned income exclusion is voluntary. Free taxes h&r block You can choose the exclusion by completing the appropriate parts of Form 2555. Free taxes h&r block When You Can Choose the Exclusion Your initial choice of the exclusion on Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ generally must be made with one of the following returns. Free taxes h&r block A return filed by the due date (including any extensions). Free taxes h&r block A return amending a timely-filed return. Free taxes h&r block Amended returns generally must be filed by the later of 3 years after the filing date of the original return or 2 years after the tax is paid. Free taxes h&r block A return filed within 1 year from the original due date of the return (determined without regard to any extensions). Free taxes h&r block Filing after the above periods. Free taxes h&r block   You can choose the exclusion on a return filed after the periods described above if you owe no federal income tax after taking into account the exclusion. Free taxes h&r block If you owe federal income tax after taking into account the exclusion, you can choose the exclusion on a return filed after the periods described earlier if you file before the IRS discovers that you failed to choose the exclusion. Free taxes h&r block Whether or not you owe federal income tax after taking the exclusion into account, if you file your return after the periods described earlier, you must type or legibly print at the top of the first page of the Form 1040 “Filed pursuant to section 1. Free taxes h&r block 911-7(a)(2)(i)(D). Free taxes h&r block ” If you owe federal income tax after taking into account the foreign earned income exclusion and the IRS discovered that you failed to choose the exclusion, you may still be able to choose the exclusion. Free taxes h&r block You must request a private letter ruling under Income Tax Regulation 301. Free taxes h&r block 9100-3 and Revenue Procedure 2013-1, 2013-1 I. Free taxes h&r block R. Free taxes h&r block B. Free taxes h&r block 1, available at www. Free taxes h&r block irs. Free taxes h&r block gov/irb/2013-01_IRB/ar06. Free taxes h&r block html. Free taxes h&r block Effect of Choosing the Exclusion Once you choose to exclude your foreign earned income, that choice remains in effect for that year and all later years unless you revoke it. Free taxes h&r block Foreign tax credit or deduction. Free taxes h&r block