Tips for US Expats:
Spouse not a US citizen or Green card holder:
If a US person resides outside of the US and is married to a spouse that is not a US citizen or permanent resident, your spouse does not have to pay U.S. taxes on their income (investment and employment) if the US person does not elect to file a joint return.
Keep regular record of the travel log:
Keep track of dates you enter and leave the US as you must report how many days you lived abroad to claim Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE).
For claiming FEIE with the Physical Presence test, the requirement to spend 330 days inside a foreign country means 330 complete days. Any time spent in the air or on the ocean travelling to/from the US is not counted. Hence, it is advisable to track the travel time correctly.
Plan ahead and understand the filing requirements:
It is advisable and a good idea to learn about the filing requirements before taking an international assignment. This way US expats are better prepared for the filing requirements when the time comes and will ensure to have tracked the required information from the start.
Request for an extension if you haven't been outside of US for a full year:
If you've been living abroad for less than a year, ensure you request for an additional filing extension until October 15th, to give yourself time to complete
a full year abroad in order to qualify for the FEIE or Foreign Tax Credit.
Basic understanding on the ways to save your taxes:
US Expats can minimize tax liability by applying provisions of IRC 911:
FEIE in the amount of $ $102,100 for 2017 if they meet either the physical presence test or the bona fide residence test
Foreign Housing exclusion for certain housing expenses if you qualify
Foreign tax credit against your US income taxes on the same income that you paid foreign income taxes in another country