Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tax Time

One Question!!??

How do you file your taxes abroad?

I am doing my research online and I am getting mixed messages. I guess I could do it by hand but that is so old fashioned!

What have you done before?

Keep in mind I am a US citizen.

Thanks :)


  1. Well, for one thing, if you're filing US taxes, if you are abroad you are given an automatic 90 day extension - you don't even have to request it.

  2. There's a website and a phone number for foreigners to use (in Englishy) but I don't have the exact info off-hand (it's in my office). I'll check back tomorrow or Tuesday and pass the address and phone # on to you then, if you think that would help?


  3. For your first year, you'll need to fill out an IRS 1040 long form. You'll also need an IRS 2555 (for your overseas exemptions). And you'll need IRS Publication 54. Check online to download these or get them mailed (

    You'll have to declare your residency one of two ways: either a "physical presence test" or a "bonafide residence test."

    The good news is if you are working in the Korean school system, your first 2 years are tax-free under the Korean Tax Treaty with the US.

    Also, if you are exempt from US taxes while in Korea, your tax date is June 15th, not April 15th-- but you MUST declare a two-month extension when you mail your taxes.

    It might take you up to a week to fill these tax forms out, so plan accordingly-- even if you'll be pulling your hair out at the end.

    Welcome to the intricacies of the US tax code. I think you'll find Korean taxes are far less onerous in the long run.

  4. are you working for GEPIK? Sorry I can't remember which office of ed. you work for...

    I also have heard a bunch of different answers - that public school teachers don't have to file but 학원 teachers do. but I was under the impression that if someone doesn't file, they get red-flagged.

    geez i'm not very helpful... has a helpline for foreigners that might be helpful.

    let us know how it all works out!

  5. Definently you need to file. I would use turbo tax, it costs 40 dollars but it asks all the right questions and gets it done. Since you lived part of the year in the US that might be the best way. I do know you need form 2555 and that you get an automatic 60 day extension.

  6. Hi,
    I have been trying the tax filing companies online but they are mostly for US residents with W2 forms. I think I am doing to have to go the paper route like Godspace suggested.

    I am so busy I haven't had the time to fully comprehend it all. But I think all of your suggestions are a good start.



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