Every U.S. citizen and permanent resident is taxed on world-wide income, regardless from where the income is derived, and regardless of where the individual resides at the time the income is received. The right to tax U.S. citizens and permanent residents originates from the U.S. Constitution, (Amendment 16) "The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived..."
However, a certain level of gross income (as defined in Section 61 of the Internal Revenue Code) must be reached before a filing requirement exists.For 2002, the general filing requirement for selctive filing statuses is as follows:
- SINGLE $ 7,700
- MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY $3,000
- MARRIED FILING JOINTLY $13,850
There are exceptions to the above amounts, and there are additional filing statuses, but this should serve as a general guideline to see whether or not you may have a US income tax filing requirement.
Foreign Issue Note: When determining your "gross income" for filing requirement purposes, you must add back any income you may have excluded under the "foreign earned income" provisions of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 911.
General Note: Even if your tax due is "zero" due to exemptions, credits, deductions, or exclusions, a return must be filed if your income reaches the minimum filing requirement amount. Additionally, you will want to file if you are due an income tax refund. A refund can be obtained only through the filing of a tax return.