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Tax Trails - Am I Required to File a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (for U.S. Citizens/Resident Aliens Living Abroad and Nonresident Aliens)?

You are required to file a Federal income tax return to report your worldwide income. The rules for filing individual income tax returns (as well as estate and gift tax returns and for paying estimated tax) are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad.

  • For U.S. citizens and resident aliens, your income, filing status, and age generally determine whether you must file an income tax return, regardless of where you live.
  • As the gross income threshold amounts requiring that you file a tax return change every year, carefully review the charts in the "Filing Requirements" section of the Form 1040 Instructions of the appropriate tax year to determine if you’re required to file a U.S. income tax return.
  • In some special situations, you have to file a tax return even if your gross income is below the threshold amount for your filing status. "Chart C - Other Situations When You Must File" in the "Filing Requirements" section of the Form 1040 Instructions set these rules.

Note: See the "Filing Information" chapter of Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, and Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, for additional information.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 01-Jan-2016