Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

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Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-22-2018

Expat or Local? Please help!

In 2017, I lived in the States with my family until February.

We all moved to Japan (in February).

I began working in April (foreign earned income).

In July, my spouse (a green-card holder) moved back to the States and is working.

She is living in our home in the States, our children and I are renting an apartment (relevant?).

We share all expenses and I am the head of the household (US Citizen and primary income).

We have two children, presently (for 2017) in Japan. 

 

How are we supposed to file?

Its so confusing... 

 

 

Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Expat or Local? Please help!

[ Edited ]

Hi Qelly9,

 

 

 

Welcome to the H&R Block community.

 

Your best option here is to file a joint tax return with your spouse.  Since you are a U.S. citizen and she is a resident alien by having a green card you are both U.S. residents for federal income tax purposes.

 

Did you move to Japan for work-related purposes?  If so then you can exclude foreign earned income and housing allowances up to about $102,000 at maximum by completing Form 2555 provided that you were living and working overseas for at least 330 days out of a 12-month period that ended before the filing deadline for 2017.

 

If you do not qualify to exclude foreign income you can still take the foreign tax credit for any tax paid to your other country by completing Form 1116.

 

 

 

If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.

 

Louis,

Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)

Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-22-2018

Re: Expat or Local? Please help!

Louis, thank you for replying.

 

I moved to Japan to work, teaching ESL is my occupation. 

I earn far less than the maximum for foreign income.

 

The 330 day is confusing. My employment contract is from 2017 April to 2018 March. So, 9 of 12 months employed in 2017.

I was physically in Japan from 2017.Feb.06th. This puts me at 331 days in Japan during 2017 (not a leap year, right?).

 

Does it matter where I am physically (now) when I file for 2017? Can my wife file jointly for us in an H&R Block office in the States while I am in Japan?

 

The filing Deadline is 2017.Dec.31? or 2018.April.15?

 

With answers, come more questions. I appreciate your effort to help me.

Highlighted
Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Expat or Local? Please help!

Hi Qelly9,

 

 

 

You are quite welcome.

 

You will definitely qualify for the foreign income exclusion.

 

Your wife can file jointly for you in an office or online.  I would recommend the office since the foreign income exclusion can be a little tricky if you haven't done it before.  Of course she can always come on here and ask questions if she decides to file online.

 

The filing deadline is April 17th, 2018.

 

You may be asked to provide a signed copy of Form 2848 if she files in an office.  This is the power of attorney form that allows her to sign the return for you.  It can be scanned and then either faxed or emailed to her if necessary.

 

FORM 2848