Frequently Asked Questions

I am a U.S. citizen but had little income, must I file a return?

In general, ALL US citizens (and green card holders) living and working abroad are required by law to file an annual US tax return, regardless of whether or not they owe any taxes. If you are supposed to file and do not, you could be subject to civil penalties or criminal prosecution under U.S. federal law.
If you would be required to file if you were living in the US, then you are required to file while living overseas. If your income is below the amounts listed in the chart below, you are not required to file.

See the amounts listed below to determine if you have a filing requirement for tax year 2013:

IF your filing status is… AND at the end of 2013 you were… THEN file a return if your gross income was at least…
single under 65 $10,000
65 or older $11,500
married filing jointly under 65 (both spouses) $20,000
65 or older (one spouse) $21,200
65 or older (both spouses) $22,400
married filing separately any age $3,900
head of household under 65 $12,850
65 or older $14,350
qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100
65 or older $17,300

When is my 2013 tax return required to be filed?

  • U.S. citizens and resident aliens residing in the U.S.A. – April 15, 2014
  • U.S. citizens residing outside the United States on April 15th – June 15, 2014
    (no special extension required)
  • Non-resident alien with U.S. wage income – April 15, 2014
  • Non-resident alien with no U.S. wage income – June 15, 2014

Can I pay my taxes in other than American dollars?

No. Tax payments must be made in U.S. currency, using a check or money order. German banks will issue bank checks in U.S. dollar denominations. Or you can pay online (for a fee) with either or

I am a U.S. citizen living overseas with no U.S. income but substantial foreign income. Must I file a U.S. tax return?

Yes. U.S. citizens must report their worldwide income on their U.S. tax returns. If you paid income taxes to a foreign country, you may qualify for a foreign tax credit. You may also qualify for a foreign earned income exclusion of up to $97,500 for 2013 (lower for previous years).

I am self employed. My net income is lower than the filing requirement. Does this mean I don’t have to file a return?

For self employed persons, you must file a return if your GROSS income is at least as much as the filing requirement. This is not the NET income you arrive at once you have deducted all allowable expenses. Also, your income may be subject to U.S. social security taxes, depending on the Social Security Agreement the U.S. and your country of residence may have.

Do I need to report money I have in a foreign bank or financial account?

You are required to report your worldwide income, regardless of the source on your US income tax return. So if, for example, you earn interest or dividends from a foreign account, this must be reported with the rest of your income on your US income tax return. In addition, if you maintain accounts in overseas institutions (non-US) and the balance or value of the account(s) (as in a securities account) during the year is over $10,000 at any point, you are required to report the account(s) on a special form to the US Treasury each year. This form is called the Report of Foreign Bank Accounts and must be done online. You can do them yourself HERE or have us do them for you.

Please note that FBAR forms must be at the Treasury Department ON JUNE 30TH! That means that you MUST send them in time. From Germany expect at least a week when sending your FBAR forms to the States.

I am considering relinquishing my U.S. Citizenship or Green Card! Can you help me?

Yes! If you need assistance with relinquishing your U.S. Citizenship or Green Card then we can help you. Call or email us and we will help you through the process and guide you to the correct people.