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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Aliens and U.S. Citizens Living Abroad - Foreign Income & Foreign Income Exclusion

  1. What is foreign earned income? Is it income paid by a foreign person for working abroad, or is it income paid by a U.S. company for working abroad?
  2. Do I have to meet the 330-day physical presence test or have a valid working resident visa to be eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion?
  3. I am a nonresident alien. Can I take the foreign earned income exclusion if I meet the bona fide resident test or physical presence test? If yes, what is the tax form used for nonresident taxpayer?

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

What is foreign earned income? Is it income paid by a foreign person for working abroad, or is it income paid by a U.S. company for working abroad?

 
Foreign earned income does not include the following amounts:

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

Do I have to meet the 330-day physical presence test or have a valid working resident visa to be eligible for the foreign earned income exclusion?

To claim the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, or the foreign housing deduction:
U.S. tax law does not specifically require a foreign resident visa or work visa for this purpose, but you should comply with the foreign country's laws.

Rev. date: 08/04/2012

I am a nonresident alien. Can I take the foreign earned income exclusion if I meet the bona fide resident test or physical presence test? If yes, what is the tax form used for nonresident taxpayer?

 
Note:  A nonresident alien is generally not subject to U.S. tax on compensation for services performed outside the United States. Thus, under the dual-status rules, nonresident aliens would not report their foreign earned income during the non-residency part of the tax year.