How do I qualify as an American expat?

The IRS has multiple tools in place to eliminate dual taxation, but you must qualify as an American expat to take advantage of some of them.

In order to qualify as an American expat for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have foreign earned income.
  2. Your tax home must be in a foreign country.
  3. You must do one of the following:
  • Pass the Bona Fide Residence Test – A US citizen who is a bona fide resident of foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year, basically meaning you live abroad with no intention of permanently returning to the USA;
  • Pass the Physical Presence Test – A US citizen or a US 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; or
  • Be a US resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty with a non-discrimination article in effect.