Table of Contents
To meet this test, you must be one of the following:
A U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country, or countries, for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year (January 1–December 31), or
A U.S. resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect and who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country, or countries, for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year (January 1–December 31). See Pub. 901, U.S. Tax Treaties, for a list of countries with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect.
Whether you are a bona fide resident of a foreign country depends on your intention about the length and nature of your stay. Evidence of your intention may be your words and acts. If these conflict, your acts carry more weight than your words. Generally, if you go to a foreign country for a definite, temporary purpose and return to the United States after you accomplish it, you are not a bona fide resident of the foreign country. If accomplishing the purpose requires an extended, indefinite stay, and you make your home in the foreign country, you may be a bona fide resident. See Pub. 54 for more information and examples.
If you submitted a statement of nonresidence to the authorities of a foreign country in which you earned income and the authorities hold that you are not subject to their income tax laws by reason of nonresidency in the foreign country, you are not considered a bona fide resident of that country.
If you submitted such a statement and the authorities have not made an adverse determination of your nonresident status, you are not considered a bona fide resident of that country.
To meet this test, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien who is physically present in a foreign country, or countries, for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 months in a row. A full day means the 24-hour period that starts at midnight.
To meet this test, your tax home must be in a foreign country, or countries (see Foreign country, earlier), throughout your period of bona fide residence or physical presence, whichever applies. For this purpose, your period of physical presence is the 330 full days during which you were present in a foreign country, not the 12 consecutive months during which those days occurred.
Your tax home is your regular or principal place of business, employment, or post of duty, regardless of where you maintain your family residence. If you do not have a regular or principal place of business because of the nature of your trade or business, your tax home is your regular place of abode (the place where you regularly live).
You are not considered to have a tax home in a foreign country for any period during which your abode is in the United States. However, if you are temporarily present in the United States, or you maintain a dwelling in the United States (whether or not that dwelling is used by your spouse and dependents), it does not necessarily mean that your abode is in the United States during that time.
Enter your entire address including city, province or state, country, and postal code. If using a military or diplomatic address, include the country in which you are living or stationed.
Complete columns (a) through (d) if you were present in the United States or any of its possessions in 2012. Do not include time spent in the United States or its possessions before your period of bona fide residence or physical presence, whichever applies, began or after it ended.
Enter the number of days in your qualifying period that fall within 2012. Your qualifying period is the period during which you meet the tax home test and either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test.
Enter the total foreign earned income you earned and received in 2012. Report the amount in U.S. dollars using the exchange rates in effect when you actually received the income. If you are a cash-basis taxpayer, include in income on Form 1040 the foreign earned income you received in 2012 regardless of when you earned it. (For example, include wages on Form 1040, line 7.)
Income is earned in the year you performed the services for which you received the pay. But if you received your last wage or salary payment for 2011 in 2012 because of your employer's payroll period, that income can be treated as earned in 2012. If you cannot treat that wage or salary payment as earned in 2012, the rules explained later under Income earned in prior year apply. See Pub. 54 for more details.
Wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses.
Noncash income (such as a home or car) if reported as income on Form 1040, line 7.
Allowances or reimbursements if reported as income on Form 1040, line 7.
Income earned in the United States on business (Form 2555-EZ, line 12, column (d)),
Amounts paid to you by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies if you were an employee of the U.S. Government or any of its agencies,
Amounts that are actually a distribution of corporate earnings or profits rather than a reasonable allowance as compensation for your personal services,
Amounts received after the end of the tax year following the tax year in which you performed the services, or
Amounts you must include in gross income because of your employer's contributions to a nonexempt employees' trust or to a nonqualified annuity contract.
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