Filing Requirements

As a general rule, the requirements for filing federal taxes when you live abroad are the same as for those living in the United States. Different requirements apply to each U.S. State.

The filing requirements are different depending on your age and filing status, but are always based on your gross income from all worldwide sources. Check the chart below to see if you needed to file for any of the past years. Self-employed people have different requirements. 

Filing Status 2012 2013 2014 2015
Single 9,750 10,000 10,150 10,300
65 or Older 11,200 11,500 11,700 11,850
Head of Household 12,500 12,850 13,050 13,250
65 or Older 13,950 14,350 14,650 14,800
Qualifying Widow(er) 15,750 16,100 16,350 16,600
65 or Older 16,850 17,300 17,550 17,850
Married Filing Jointly 19,500 20,000 20,300 20,600
One Spouse 65 or Older 20,650 21,200 21,500 21,850
Both Spouses 65 or Older 21,800 22,400 22,700 23,100
Married Filing Separately 3,800 3,900 3,950 4,000

Self-employment

If you are self-employed and your net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more, you must file a return even if your gross income is lower than the applicable amount shown on the table above.