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Do I need to file a US Tax Return?


The US taxes all US citizens and residents (including green card holders)  on their worldwide income. This is irrespective of how long they have lived outside the US and how infrequently they return.


The only way to avoid this is to give up your US citizenship or to give up your green card, and even then - in some circumstances - you could still be subject to worldwide taxation for a further 10 years!

You should also note that the filing limits in the US are quite low, meaning that most adults will need to a file a US return even if no UK return is required.   

Those living outside the US will also be taxed by the country in which they are resident.


In general  an individual will not have to pay both US and the local taxes in full as they will often be able to offset the taxes paid in the country where they are resident against their US tax liability. This will often result in no further tax due to the US.  However, if their US tax liability is greater than their local tax liability they will have additional taxes to pay to the IRS.

Americans will also often find that there are frequently differing tax treatments on income and deductions between the US and the overseas country in which they are resident.  Understanding and planning around these differences can make a huge difference.