US Expat Tax Tips

A Hot Tip about Regulatory Bodies in the United States

Last updated: 15 Feb 2011

1.  If you moved out of the United States during 2010 you may be eligible to claim moving expenses for 2010.  For more information visit


2.  If you have paid tax on foreign earned income (for example NZ salary) you can carry forward excess tax credits for up to ten years, and also back one year – qualifying tax credits.


3.  You may have an option as to how you declare foreign-sourced income in your 2010 US tax return. If you have earned income, and satisfy other criteria, you may qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion. If you have paid tax in the foreign country you may claim foreign tax credits instead. Which method is best depends on the individual taxpayer’s circumstances.


4. If you have more than US $10,000 in a financial account or accounts outside the US, in the aggregate, at any time during 2010 you need to file form TD F 90-22.1 by 30 June 2011.


5. If you have settled property into a trust outside the United States in 2010 you are required to file form 3520 and possibly form 3520-a with your 1040.


6. You have an automatic extension of time for filing until 15 June 2011. Form 4868 is not required to be filed to invoke this extension if you are a US citizen or resident living outside the US.


7. If you have any tax to pay for 2010 the payment date remains 18 April 2011, irrespective of any extension of time to file (whether the automatic two-month extension is used, or the six month extension is applied for).


8. You can apply for an extension of time for filing until 15 October 2011 either by filing form 4868 or by making a credit card payment of at least 90% of the 2010 tax due by 18 April 2011.


9. If you hold or acquire shares in a company outside the United States that exceed 10% of the voting power or value of the shares, you are required to file form 5471 with your 1040.


10. Even though you are outside the United States and may not have paid tax in 2010 you may still qualify for a number of refundable tax credits including the economic stimulus payment (Making Work Pay) or various other credits that have been made either partially or fully refundable for 2010. These include the Adoption Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.


Ok here’s the 11th thing that simply could not be left off the list:


11. If you are a United States donee in receipt of gifts from foreign persons exceeding US $14,139 from all persons in 2010, you are required to report these gifts by filing form 709, due at the same time as form 1040.

Posted: 15 February 2011, last updated 15 February 2011

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NZ US Tax Specialists

Expatriate Income Tax Services

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