How To Pay & File Taxes as a U.S. Expat

At a glance

Learn how to file taxes as an expat with the experts at H&R Block. We explain the expat tax filing process with step by step instructions for new and experienced filers.

U.S. expat filing state taxes online while living abroad

If you’re a U.S. citizen living abroad, how to file taxes as an expat probably isn’t the first question on your mind when thinking about your finances. It is, however, a question that has major consequences if you get it wrong – which is why H&R Block is here to help.

Even if you live overseas, if you’re a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder, you likely have to file a U.S. tax return each year. Regardless of where in the world you live, H&R Block Expat Tax Services can relieve the stress of filing U.S. tax returns and staying compliant with your U.S. tax obligations. Below, we’ll explain step-by-step how to file taxes as an expat with our virtual process, designed for the convenience of expats filing abroad.

How to file expat taxes from abroad

With H&R Block, you have two options to file expat taxes from abroad: With you in the driver’s seat using our DIY online expat tax service (designed specifically for expats), or by letting one of our Expat Tax Advisors take the wheel. Below are the four simple steps it takes to file your expat taxes with H&R Block:

5 Steps to Filing Your Expat Taxes Online

  1. Head over to our Ways to File page and choose to either File with an Advisor or File Yourself.

    Our simple process makes expat tax filing simple. You have the option to file your expat taxes yourself with our made-for-expats DIY tool or get assistance from one of our experienced Expat Tax Advisors.

  2. Register online and complete your Tax Organizer.

    Once you’ve chosen your tax filing method, you will get your estimated price and complete your personal Tax Interview, where you provide information about your tax situation. After you have provided your information, you’ll be provided a checklist of documents to upload for your specific situation.

  3. If you chose to file with an advisor, we’ll match you with the right one for your specific situation.

    Once you’ve completed a brief questionnaire and, we will match you with your Advisor. Your personal Tax Advisor will review your documents prepare your return and provide a personal consultation if needed. Our team of Expat Tax Advisors specialize in taxes for U.S. expats, so you can trust H&R Block Expat Tax Services to get you every credit and deduction you deserve.

  4. Review, approve, and pay for your tax return

    When your tax return is completed, you’ll be asked to review and pay for your return via your secure client account. Because protecting your information is so important, you can count on us to implement physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your tax information.

  5. We file your return with the IRS and FBAR with FinCEN

    Finally, we’ll file your completed return with the IRS and your FBAR with FinCEN. In the rare case of an audit or if the IRS has questions about your return, we’ll help provide answers and support. After filing, your tax return will be stored in your secure online account, where it will be safe and easy to access, whenever you need.

Whether you file yourself or with an advisor, you can trust H&R Block Expat Tax Services for all the following:

  • Federal tax preparation and filing
  • State tax return preparation and filing
  • FBAR filing (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts)
  • Past-due FBAR and tax returns from prior years, including Streamlined Compliance filings
  • Free extension filing
  • H&R Block’s 100% Accuracy Guarantee

Ready to get started? Head on over to our Ways to File page and choose your tax journey today.

What is an expat? Who qualifies?

What is an expat? An expat is a U.S. citizen or green-card holder living or working outside the United States. Importantly, even though they are no longer in the U.S., they are required to report worldwide income and file taxes even as an expat if they meet specific filing thresholds. However, there are some special issues expats need to consider when filing their return, including potentially reporting financial information through FBAR or FATCA requirements.

What if I’ve never filed taxes as an expat before?

Many U.S. citizens living abroad assume that they only have tax obligations to their current country of residence and overlook their U.S. tax duty. As it turns out, expats still have a tax obligation to the U.S. even after they’ve moved abroad. Also, in addition to federal taxes, some expats must file state taxes as well.

Even if taxes on foreign income are not owed to the IRS or state government, due to anticipated foreign tax credits or foreign earned income exclusions, expats are still required to file a U.S. tax return if they meet the income requirements.

If you were honestly unaware of your filing requirement, the time to act is now. The IRS has several non-penalty disclosure programs available to Americans abroad who have honestly overlooked their filing obligations and never filed taxes, including Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures. Once you select to File with an Advisor, our international tax advisors can help you decide on the best course of action for your unique situation and help you determine how you should file taxes as an expat.

U.S. woman researching how to file expat taxes online

How to file an FBAR

Yes, you can file your FBAR online! In fact, your FBAR must be filed electronically through FinCEN’s BSA e-filing system or with a preparation service designed specifically for expats, such as H&R Block Expat Tax Services.

Married taxpayers should take note: In very few situations are you able to submit a joint FBAR. If you own accounts jointly with your spouse, and either none or only one of you own a separate account, you are able file a single report. Otherwise, each spouse must file their own. If you are filing prior year FBARs or amended FBARs, you must still use FinCEN’s website to do so and you must file separate accounts.

When you work with H&R Block Expat Tax Services, you can submit your FBAR through our DIY service or have one of our Expat Tax Advisors handle it for you.

Need help filing taxes for expats? H&R Block’s Expat Tax Services has your back.

Need help? Don’t stress — taxes for expats are complicated, but we’ve got your back. If you’re all set and ready to file with us online, go ahead and start the process with virtual Expat Tax Preparation from H&R Block Expat Tax Services today!

Was this article helpful?

See what expats have to say about their experience with us.

Kristi Heinz

H&R Block Expat Tax has always been fast, efficient and answers my questions. For 10 years I filed everything myself and never received a refund. Now I get a big refund every year! Wish I had known sooner. I highly recommend HRB Expat Tax.

Arkadiusz Malinowski

H&R Block U.S. Expat Tax Services does a really great job! Fast and reliable. Tax Organizer was very easy to use. And what I really like most is very quick and precise answers whenever you have a question. Thank you!

Ayesha Sultan

I live in Kenya now and run my own online digital marketing business. Using this service has helped me save tons of time and energy on my taxes. I am also really relieved that they will help if I need it during audits. It really makes living abroad and doing taxes a million times better.

Jennifer Thompson

I have been using H&R block for a few years now. I live abroad, but don't make a lot of money. Filing with H&R block is as painless as doing taxes gets and my Advisor is wonderful and answers all my questions.

Alison Watts

Expat taxes made easy. I had a great experience this year - I used HR Block last year and was very impressed with the efficiency and accuracy and professionalism throughout the whole process.

Image for No one offers more ways to get tax help than H&R Block.

No one offers more ways to get tax help than H&R Block.

Easy online filing designed for expats. Experienced experts if you need them. Get your taxes done in the way that’s right
for you.