U.S. income tax return filing

U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside the United States are required to file their worldwide income with the U.S. IRS. regardless where you reside. The rules for filing income tax, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are broadly the same whether you are abroad or in the United States. 

When to file your U.S. taxes

The regular tax filing due date is 15 April. U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside the U.S. receive an automatic extension of 2 months for their tax filing due date to 15 June. Note that you are required to pay any tax due by 15 April regardless. Interest charge over tax payment due applies after 15 April. 

You can request an additional 6 month extension to file your U.S. taxes by 15 October. To obtain the 6 month extension, file Form 4868 or ask a tax professional such as Blue Umbrella.  Note that you are required to pay your, provisional, taxes due by 15 April to avoid interest charges. 

You generally cannot get an extension of more than 6 months. However, if you are outside the United States and meet certain requirements, you may be able to get a longer extension.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

You may qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion and the foreign housing deduction if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • as a U.S. citizen, you are a bona fide resident of the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year
  • as a U.S. resident alien who is a citizen or national of a non-U.S. country with has set-up a tax treaty with the United States and who is a bona fide resident of the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year
  • as a U.S. citizen or resident alien who is physically present in the Netherlands for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 consecutive months. 

You may also be entitled to exclude from income the value of meals and lodging provided to you by your employer on their premises and for their convenience.

U.S. Government Civilian Employees Working Overseas

If you are a U. S. citizen working for the US Government, including the Foreign Service, and you are stationed abroad, your income tax filing requirements are generally the same as those for citizens and residents living in the United States. You are taxed on your worldwide income, even though you live and work abroad. However, you may receive certain allowances and have certain expenses that you generally do not have while living in the United States.

U.S. Foreign Service Employees

If you are an employee of the US Foreign Service and your position requires you to establish and maintain favorable relations in foreign countries, you may receive a nontaxable allowance for representation expenses. If your expenses are more than the allowance you receive, you can no longer deduct the excess expenses as an itemized deduction. 

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, and Foreign Housing Exclusion and Deduction

Certain taxpayers can exclude or deduct income earned in foreign countries. However, the foreign earned income and housing exclusions and the foreign housing deduction do not apply to the income you receive as an employee of the US Government.

Allowances, Differentials, and Other Special Pay

Most payments received by US Government civilian employees for working abroad, including pay differentials, are taxable. However, certain foreign areas allowances, cost of living allowances, and travel allowances are tax free.


Blue Umbrella for Dutch tax matters

Living and working in the Netherlands for a time? We can help you with your Dutch taxes, so you don't have to deal with the Belastingdienst yourself. Whether you're employed or have a small business, we'll make your life easier and save you money.

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