U.S. Expatriate Taxes In Germany
There are thousands of American expatriates living in Germany, but how does living there affect their U.S. expat taxes? Germany has long been seen as a business country, with several international headquarters located in the country. When you include the large military presence, you have thousands of American expatriates living in Munich, Berlin, Essen and other Germany cities.
Wherever you live in Germany, it is important to understand your German tax obligations, while not forgetting your U.S. expat taxes — and how the German tax system will affect them. You will pay both U.S. expat taxes and Germany taxes.
Please visit our Country Tax Resource Guide for Filing Taxes as an American Living in Germany.
U.S. Expat Taxes in Germany
U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders (resident aliens) have unique filing obligations, unlike the citizens of other tax jurisdictions. The U.S. imposes income taxation based upon citizenship, not based on tax residency and U.S. resident aliens are taxable on worldwide income for their lifetime unless they expatriate completely.
U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders living and working outside the United States are required to file a U.S. tax return annually and report their worldwide income if they continue to meet the annually indexed minimum tax filing threshold amounts, consisting of the standard deduction and exemption.
Residing and working outside of the United States may permit the application of special tax laws and regulations when certain qualifications are met, permitting the offset of U.S. tax obligations in part or in their entirety. These rights of offsets are the result of the integration between the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), Housing Exclusion (HE) and/ or Housing Deduction (HD) available on Form 2555 – Foreign Earned Income and Foreign Tax Credits (FTC) available on Form 1116 – Foreign Tax Credit. The Foreign Tax Credit on Form 1116 may be considered if the foreign country has a foreign income tax.
At Protax Consulting Services, our primary goal and objective is to use these interplay of mechanisms – the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), Housing Exclusion (HE) and/ or Housing Deduction (HD) –in combination to wipe out any U.S. income tax.
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