US Tax Filing Obligations

  1. Do I have US income tax filing obligations as a US citizen living abroad?

Yes.  The US taxes US citizens on their worldwide income regardless of where they reside.  This is different than almost all other countries in the world which generally assess income tax based on residence.  US citizens living abroad are required to file annual income tax returns if his or her income is above certain levels.

  1. Do I have to convert my income to US dollars to determine whether I have a US filing obligation?

Yes.  In determining whether your income meets the income tax filing threshold you will have to convert your income to US dollars.

  1. What are the income thresholds that would require a US citizen living abroad to file a US income tax return?

The income filing thresholds depend on your filing status and the tax year.  Below is a chart that details the income tax filing thresholds for 2014.  If your gross income is at least the amount provided in the chart for your filing category in US dollars, then you have a US income tax filing obligation for 2014.



Gross Income


under 65


65 or older


Head of household

under 65


65 or older


Married, filing jointly

under 65 (both spouses)


65 or older (one spouse)


65 or older (both spouses)


Married, filing separately

any age


Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child

under 65


65 or older