US Tax Obligations for Digital Nomads

follow that dream
Nomad Life and Uncle Sam

By Oscar Davis

Ah, the nomadic life! Waking up to the gentle lull of ocean waves in Bali or sipping on artisan coffee in a cozy café in Paris—sounds like a dream. But hold your passports! 

Before hopping on that next flight to Timbuktu, remember that even adventurers must deal with the not-so-adventurous reality of US taxes..

Fortunately, we’ve partnered with Greenback Expat Tax Services to bring you this guide, filled with expert tips and quips designed for simplifying digital nomad taxes.

The Universal Truth: Taxing Worldwide Income

The good, the bad, and the taxable: as a US citizen or resident, your worldwide income is subject to taxation by Uncle Sam. Whether you’re freelance writing from a beach in Thailand or teaching yoga in New Zealand, the IRS wants its piece of your financial pie.

The Savior: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)

Alright, nomads, don your explorer hats, and let’s journey into the realm of the FEIE. This fantastic little provision allows you to exclude up to $120,000 (as of 2023) of foreign-earned income from your US taxable income. But remember, adventurers; the FEIE is not a “claim it and forget it” deal—you’ll need to qualify by passing the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Residence Test.

Foreign Tax Credits: The Unsung Hero

Are you paying taxes in multiple countries? Sounds like you’re living the international dream! Or are you in a taxation nightmare? Enter Foreign Tax Credits. These precious gems can offset your US tax obligations, allowing you to escape the double-taxation dragon. So, do you know how it works?

If you’re paying income tax in, let’s say, Germany while you’re sipping beers in Bavaria, you can apply those taxes as a credit against your US tax liability. As they say, two passports may be better than one, but two tax bills are different from the kind of souvenirs you want to collect.

Remember, claiming these credits can be a complex quest. Forms like IRS Form 1116 come into play, and you’ll need to calculate the foreign and US tax rates.

FATCA & FBAR: No, They’re Not Adventure Clubs

Have you got a secret treasure chest, er, foreign bank account? Could you comply with FATCA and FBAR requirements to keep that chest from turning into a Pandora’s box of legal woes?

FATCA usually applies if you have assets exceeding $200,000 for single filers or $400,000 for married couples filing jointly. For FBAR, it’s a lower threshold; you must report if you have foreign financial accounts totaling more than $10,000 at any point during the year. These aren’t optional quests; they’re mandatory levels in the game of expat taxes.

The Solo Explorer: Self-Employed Tax Tips

Are you the Indiana Jones of digital marketing? Or the Lara Croft of travel blogging? If you’re self-employed abroad, don’t forget the FEIE won’t cover Social Security and Medicare taxes. You’ll need to budget for that while treasure-hunting or tomb-raiding.

One option is to set up a foreign entity, like an LLC or a corporation. This can potentially help you exclude not just your income but also your Social Security and Medicare taxes. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

It can come with added complexity and requirements. To make sure you’re setting sail in the right direction, it’s highly recommended to consult with tax experts who know the lay of the land—another reason Greenback Expat Tax Services can be your trusty compass.

Why Greenback Expat Tax Services is the Guide You Need

Are you lost in the jungle of IRS forms and regulations? Greenback Expat Tax Services is your expert guide through the wild, offering a compass of experience to help you navigate. With CPAs and IRS Enrolled Agents specializing in expat taxation, the Greenback provides a lifeline to financial civilization.

Your Next Adventure Awaits

Living a life full of adventure doesn’t mean you must venture into the wilderness unprepared, at least not regarding taxes. Remember, even Indiana Jones took a map and a whip. So equip yourself with the best tools and knowledge, and consider enlisting the expert services of Greenback Expat Tax Services.

For a guided tour through the labyrinthine world of US taxes, head over to Greenback Expat Tax Services. Here’s to making your next adventure both thrilling and tax-compliant! Cheers, wanderers!

oscar davis unsmushed


Oscar Davis is a freelance writer from Leeds, UK.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Latest posts by GoNOMAD Contributors (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top
Skip to content