It has been estimated that there are several thousand Americans living in Slovenia.
Living in Slovenia is an incredible experience for a number of reasons, including the friendly locals, the quality of life, the natural beauty, and the culture and cuisine. As an American expatriate living in Slovenia though, what exactly do you need to know regarding filing US expat (and Slovenian) taxes?
All US citizens and green card holders who earn a minimum of around $10,000 (or just $400 for self-employed individuals) anywhere in the world are required to file a US federal tax return and pay taxes to the IRS, regardless of where in the world they live or their income is generated.
The good news is if you are paying income tax in Slovenia, there are various exclusions and exemptions available to prevent you paying tax on the same income to the IRS too.
US taxes – what you need to know
If you earn over US$10,000 (or just $400 of self-employment income), wherever the income originates in the world you have to file IRS form 1040.
While any US taxes due are still due by April 15th, expats get an automatic filing extension until June 15th, which can be extended further on request until October 15th.
If you have overseas assets worth over US$200,000 per person, excluding your home if it is owned in your own name, you also have to file form 8938 to declare them.
If you had a total of at least US$10,000 in one or more foreign bank and/or investment accounts at any time during the tax year, you also have to file FinCEN form 114, otherwise known as a Foreign Bank Account Report or FBAR.
“In addition to PIT, individuals must pay compulsory social security contributions. Both employer and employee must contribute. Self-employed persons must pay income tax and social security contributions themselves.” – PwC
If you pay income tax in Slovenia, there are several exemptions that allow you to pay less or no US income tax on the same income to the IRS. The main one is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, which lets you exclude the first around US$100,000 of foreign earned income from US tax if you can prove that you are a Slovenian resident, and the Foreign Tax Credit, which gives you a $1 tax credit for every dollar of tax you’ve paid in Slovenia. These exemptions can be combined if necessary. Remember though that even if you don’t owe any tax to the IRS, if your income is over US$10,000 (or $400 if you’re self-employed) you still have to file a federal return.
The US and Slovenian governments share taxpayer info, and Slovenian banks pass on US account holders’ account info to the IRS, so it’s not worth not filing or omitting anything on your return. The penalties for incorrect or incomplete filing for expats are steep to say the least.
If you’re a US citizen, green card holder, or US/Slovenian dual citizen, and you have been living in Slovenia but you didn’t know you had to file a US tax return, don’t worry: there’s a program called the IRS Streamlined Procedure that allows you to catch up on your filing without paying any penalties. Don’t delay though, in case the IRS comes to you first.
Slovenian taxes – what you need to know
Slovenian residents are taxed on their worldwide income on a progressive scale from 16% to 50%. Dividends, rental income, and interest are taxed at a flat rate of 27.5%. Non-residents are solely taxed on income sourced in Slovenia.
Foreigners living in Slovenia are considered a resident for tax purposes if their permanent home or center of personal and economic interests is in Slovenia, or if they are physically present in Slovenia for more than 183 days in a tax year.
The Slovenian tax year is the same as in the US, which is to say a calendar year. Slovenian tax returns are due by August 31st. The Slovenian tax authority is called the Slovenian Tax Administration.
We strongly recommend that if you have any doubts or questions about your tax situation as a US expat living in Slovenia that you contact a US expat tax specialist.