U.S. Expat Tax Filing for American Expats in Thailand

Our goal is to provide U.S. Expats living in Thailand who must file U.S. income tax returns with a competent, professional service. We can prepare returns for citizens, permanent residents (greencard holders), and non-resident individuals; trusts; partnerships; and corporations. The Managing Director based in Bangkok is a Certified Public Accountant, he can assist taxpayers who are experiencing problems in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or any state tax authorities. If necessary, he can represent the taxpayer and deal with the agency directly.

Although the rules applicable to expatriate U.S. taxpayers living in Thailand appear simple, actual application to real-life situations can be complicated. Not only do we have many years of experience dealing with these rules, we are expatriates ourselves and deal with the problems and concerns of expatriates every day.

Most of our clients are located in Bangkok or nearby communities across Thailand. However, we do have clients in other locations in other South East Asian countries, such as Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Malaysia; in Japan and Hong Kong; in the United States; and in many other places throughout the world.

Although our primary service deals with U.S. taxes, we have the capability to assist with various Thai tax matters. Please contact us for more information.

Do I Have to File a U.S. Income Tax Return when living in Thailand?

If you are living in Bangkok, Thailand as a U.S. citizen or resident alien (you have a greencard), you are subject to U.S. income tax on your income, regardless of where you are living or where you earned (or were paid) the income. Just living in Thailand does not give you a break from the normal filing requirements.

If you earn a salary, even from a foreign employer in Thailand, you are required to file — whether you owe any tax and how much is another matter.

If your total income is less than $7,800 and you are single or $17,500 and you are married and both you and your spouse are over 65, you are not required to file a federal tax return because all of your income is offset by the standard deduction and personal exemptions

A common misconception is that, since foreign income is not subject to U.S. tax, you do not need to file a return. This may seem logical but it is ILLEGAL. It is true that up to $80,000 of foreign earned income may be excluded from taxable income, if you conform to certain rules, the ONLY way to cleim this exclusion is to file a return and include the information necessary to substantiate your claim. Internal Revenue Service regulations require the claim to be filed within one year of the due date for the return.

Claims filed later may be allowed if the taxpayer follows certain procedures and does not owe any tax after taking the exclusion into consideration. However, once the IRS raises the issue of taxability of income, the taxpayer may not claim the exclusion.

U.S. citizens in Thailand may have problems with passport renewal or visas for spouses and dependents if they cannot prove that they have filed required tax returns. Even obtaining social security numbers for dependent children can be difficult.

Finally, there is no statute of limitations where no return has been filed. That means that, theoretically, IRS has no time limit as to when they can assess a tax and come after you for payment.