The 1040 Individual Income tax return form asks in field 1 to report wages/salaries/tips/etc and to attach forms W-2.

If one received both income in the US, and some income abroad, and is tax liable in the US, where does one report the income received abroad on the 1040 form? Should I take my US income as reported on my W-2, and add to that my foreign income, and report the sum of these two numbers in field 1 of the 1040 form? Or should I do this in some other way?

In addition, is there another form I should file to report foreign income? Some itemized statement separating US income (reported on my W-2) from foreign income?

I called the IRS, and asked them the above questions. Their response:

"That's a question the IRS doesn't know the answer to. We recommend that you reach out to a tax professional"

  • First off, is this employment income i.e. from a job or jobs? As a US tax 'resident', there are lots of kinds of income that you can receive that are not employment income and do not go in line 1, but do go somewhere else, and that does not depend on which country they are received in or from, except indirectly if they are also taxed by the (or any) other country. If it is employment you could use form 4852 to document it as received (not specifically identifying it as foreign), then as Orange says maybe exclude it using FEIE (on form 2555, carried to Schedule 1, carried to line 8). Mar 14, 2021 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


See https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i2555

You qualify to exclude your foreign earned income from gross income if both of the following apply.

  • You meet the tax home test
  • You meet either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test
  • 2
    But the income still needs to be reported before it can be excluded using the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (if they even qualify to use it) or Foreign Tax Credit.
    – user102008
    Mar 13, 2021 at 3:31
  • 1
    @Orange Coast- reinstate Monica thank you for answer. This would be a good response to the question 'how to qualify for foreign income exclusion'. It however is not a response to the question being asked. Mar 13, 2021 at 4:39
  • Just invert the IRS' statement for your answer: If you DO "qualify to exclude to exclude your foreign earned income from gross income" then fill out form 2555 and exclude it from line 1, 1040. If you DON'T qualify, don't fill out the form and include your worldwide gross income on line 1, 1040. Mar 13, 2021 at 17:06

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