Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Finance/banking/taxation  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 22.05.2020, 14:23
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Basel
Posts: 2
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shmar has no particular reputation at present
Filing us taxes with income less than FEIE threshold

Hello

Iím trying to put together my us taxes but am struggling with a few things I donít quite understand. Iíve been a silent reader in this forum for a couple of years now. Coming back each time I was putting together my taxes. Now I try to get into a bit more detail and have some questions I would like to ask the community.

I am a single swiss/us citizen who has lived in Switzerland most of his live (about 2 years in the US). I make less than the FEIE threshold (about 90k p.a.) and have no substantial savings, no property or investments.

Because of this I figure I should be able to do my taxes myself. The last couple of years I managed by using TurboTax or similar services. There were probably some flaws in those taxes but I was a student and not making as much as now so I figure it should be ok.

Now I want to figure out a way that works for me every year, so I donít have to dive into this confusion year after year. My financial situation will most likely not increase much over the next couple of years. For this reason, Iím using fillableforms so I can just fill the forms I need for free.

What I figured out so far:
  1. I put Line 8 of my Lohnausweis in Form 1040 line 1
  2. I put in the standard detuction of 12k in Line 8 of form 1040
  3. I fill out the Bona Fide recidency test in Form 2555 and put my Gross Income (Line 8 of Lohnausweis) in Line 19

Now to my questions:
  1. I know I have to also report my employers contribution to the second pillar (about 5k). Where do I do that? I read Line 21 a lot. I canít find an applicable line 21 on my forms. On the 2019 form on fillable forms that would probably be line 8 of schedule 1 to form 1040. However, donít I have to subtract the amount from Form 2555 in that field? TurboTax did that when I filled last year with the mention of ďForm 2555-Foreign Earned Inc/Housing ExcĽ
  2. Am I correct, that if I file Form 2555 and earn under the threshold of the FEIE I then donít have to file form 1116?
  3. Do I have to report my bank accounts in form 8983? Isnít this what FBAR is for?

Thanks in advance.
Marv
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24.05.2020, 09:47
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Aargau
Posts: 154
Groaned at 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 118 Times in 48 Posts
Wisconsinite has no particular reputation at present
Re: Filing us taxes with income less than FEIE threshold

Hey Shmar,

Keeping in mind that I am not a tax professional, here is some input from me:

1) This is a difficult question and different people (including tax professionals) seem to do it differently. I never had any issues even when I simply added it to my total income. However, one common thing is that you should establish the basis for your pension contributions so that you don't face double taxation when you retire. I would advise you to go with a tax professional to do your taxes at least once so that you get an idea on how to fill things out in the future. Based on my experience, I can recommend taxesforexpats.

2) You don't have to fill out Form 1116 if you are not claiming foreign tax credit which would make sense given that your income is under the threshold.

3) If you have assets past whatever the thresholds are, you have to fill out form 8983 - but turbotax should automatically suggest that. FBAR is not the same even though it is primarily the same information (and insanely annoying that you have to do it twice).

I did my US taxes for years by myself even when I was no longer under the threshold. So, it is definitely possible but I found it extremely stressful each time. This year I went with a company and I don't think I will ever do it myself again. This is the cost of being a US citizen living abroad (plus whatever you might have to pay in taxes).
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Wisconsinite for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 25.05.2020, 21:06
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Basel
Posts: 2
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Shmar has no particular reputation at present
Re: Filing us taxes with income less than FEIE threshold

Hey Wisconsinite

Thanks so much for your response.

1) From what you are describing I take it, I can just add the employer contribution to my Bruttolohn (line 8 Lohnausweis) and put it in line 1 of f1040. I read somewhere that I can't put the employer contribution on form 2555, so I just get the FEIE for Line 8 of Lohnausweis (Bruttolohn). Is it correct to deduct the standard amount of 12'000 on line 9 of f1040? After that I'm back down to zero in line 11b.

2) Okey I got that right then. Thank you for clarifying.

3) Got it. I read up on that form and I'm well bellow the threshold. Only FBAR for me then.

Thanks for recommending me some tax service. I should've probably just done that. Would have been well worth the money. Might do it next year but as I'm cutting it close with the deadline this year I just want to get done with it by myself. What is your experience with the quoted price on that site? Pretty accurate or are there expenses adding up after sining up?

The one thing I didn't get (in bold):

Quote:
View Post
1) This is a difficult question and different people (including tax professionals) seem to do it differently. I never had any issues even when I simply added it to my total income. However, one common thing is that you should establish the basis for your pension contributions so that you don't face double taxation when you retire. I would advise you to go with a tax professional to do your taxes at least once so that you get an idea on how to fill things out in the future. Based on my experience, I can recommend taxesforexpats.
What do you mean by establish the basis for my pension?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25.05.2020, 21:24
3Wishes's Avatar
Moderately Amused
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bern area
Posts: 10,068
Groaned at 70 Times in 67 Posts
Thanked 16,360 Times in 7,416 Posts
3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute3Wishes has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Filing us taxes with income less than FEIE threshold

Quote:
View Post
...Might do it next year but as I'm cutting it close with the deadline this year I just want to get done with it by myself.
You can file form 4868 now to request an extension until Oct 15. Don't rush if you don't need to:
https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-4868
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
employer contribution, second pillar, tax, tax advice




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
US Taxes tips & info - beyond the FEIE vinczebarni Finance/banking/taxation 146 28.05.2013 19:59
Confused on taxes for Americans over the 120k CHF threshold TexanCH Finance/banking/taxation 33 09.05.2012 15:29
Tax Return - Income threshold SimonR Finance/banking/taxation 8 18.04.2012 07:52
Filing US Income Tax for 2009 Karl Finance/banking/taxation 4 04.04.2010 18:32
Not filing US taxes Tomito Daily life 2 30.04.2007 14:37


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 17:31.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0