Frequently Asked Questions

Following are questions that we most often receive from our Bright!Tax clients. Though not exhaustive, our list covers most of the relevant topics with regard to the filing of your US taxes. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help. Bright!Tax expat tax experts are American CPAs. US expat tax is all we do and we are very good at it.

I'm a US expat - what do I need to know?

Bright Tax offers a complete and total range of tax filing services for US expats, including federal and state returns, previous years (including the Streamlined Procedure, a penalty-free way to catch up), FATCA and FBAR, and foreign corporations returns. Read more about US tax filing requirements for expats.

What is the IRS Streamlined Procedure?

The IRS launched the Streamlined Procedure as a way for Americans who are behind in the filing of their US taxes to become current without facing penalties or undue scrutiny. The Streamlined Procedure requires expats to file 3 years back taxes and 6 years FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Reports). Read More

Do I need to file FBAR - FinCEN Form 114?

US citizens and green card holders who have $10 thousand or more, in aggregate, in accounts outside the US at any time during the tax year, must file a FinCEN Form 114, also known as FBAR or Foreign Bank Account Report. Read More

Do I need to file FATCA - Form 8938?

Under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, US taxpayers have to file form 8938 if they have investments, savings or assets abroad. The threshold for filing FATCA for expats begins at $200 thousand in net assets. Read More

What is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion allows US citizens and green card holders who live and work outside the US to exclude part or all of their foreign earned income from being taxed. The exclusion amount is currently at around $100 thousand. Read More

What is the Foreign Tax Credit?

The Foreign Tax Credit is the mechanism that allows US taxpayers living abroad to avoid paying a ‘double tax’ to the IRS on income that has already been taxed in their country of residence. Read More

Can you clarify state taxes for US expats?

Some states still require expats to pay tax on income earned in that state, for example if they  rent out a property there. While each state has different rules, they generally focus on whether an expat can still be considered as ‘domiciled’ in a given state. Read More

What are the US expat tax filing dates?

The 3 most important tax dates for US expats are April 15th, the date by which tax must be paid, June 15th for filing, and October 15th if you’ve applied for a filing extension. Read More

Do I Need to File a US Tax Return?

All US citizens and green card holders who meet the minimum income thresholds are required to file an annual federal income tax return, regardless of where they live. They may also have FATCA and FBAR filing responsibilities. Read More

How Much Do I Need to Earn to File US Taxes?

Minimum US filing thresholds apply to Americans’ global income, even if not earned in US dollars. They start at just $5 a year for Americans married to a foreigner but filing separately, or $400 of self-employment income. For most Americans, the figure is around $12,000, depending on the tax year.

Does Bright!Tax have a referral program?

Yes! For each friend you refer to Bright!Tax who completes a project with us, we’ll reward you both with a $50 coupon. Refer as many friends as you wish and watch your credit grow! Refer a Friend Now

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