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American Expat Taxes: What is the 1040 Form?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing expat taxes: specifically for Americans. I am going to do this from the standpoint of Americans in Thailand because that is where our firm is located but I think this video is applicable to those expats who are in other countries. 

The 1040 form: so that is this form right here; the front and back of it.  We will go ahead and throw this up on the screen so you can have a look at it. That is the 2018 blank form of the 1040. They have truncated the 1040 substantially. It used to be a rather longer form. It used to take up two full pages. They have truncated some things down. In my opinion it is rather more efficient. Also it should be noted that 2018 is the beginning of a new tax regime if you will after the so-called Trump Tax was passed in the United States so that is something to keep in mind. But this is the form and this is kind of the basic tax return form that is filed by virtually every average individual American whether living abroad or not but I am going keep this focused on Americans living abroad.

Most Americans living abroad are going to need to file a 1040. The filing deadline for the 1040 is a little different for Americans abroad as opposed to Americans living in the United States. To deal with the given circumstances of that, it is probably a good idea to contact a tax professional. Myself, I am a member of the United States tax court so we do handle some of these matters although I don't really deal specifically with individual tax matters, at least on a regular basis, but we do provide a great deal of advisory services with respect to certain Corporate Tax Law. 

The reason I made this video is just to provide some insight. This is what the form is. Generally speaking, individuals especially if they have earned income are going to need to file their tax return on a yearly basis and maintain their filings; even if they live abroad. There is a misconception out there that those who live abroad don't need to file a tax return. That is incorrect. Americans are taxable on their worldwide income and for that reason those Americans who live outside the United States, if they are earning income, passively or actively, they need to go ahead and file a tax return and generally speaking that is going to be this 1040 form. Now they may qualify for things like the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion which we made a video about specifically and in those circumstances, there may be there may be a situation where you don't actually have to pay any taxes but you still need to go ahead and file.