I am a US citizen in my 20s living in Switzerland for most of the last 3 years. The tax rules seem to have changed from what I thought to be true before. As such, I am quite confused and hope someone can help me further.

  • I will need to file the taxes for 2017 (due June 15?) as well as back file for the 2016 year.
  • I am a full-time student and for the most part, do/did not receive a stipend (see below).
  • My parents (non US citizens) are partially supporting me while the rest comes from savings.
  • In 2017, I spent under half a year in the UAE as part of my university degree. I working as an intern at a UAE company and received a stipend that allowed me to cover costs.
  • I use a bank account in Switzerland to enable me to make online purchases etc.

Reading through specific US citizens abroad and new filing requirements IRS pages as well as the income treaty explainer, I am really not sure what to do. In addition, do the FBAR rules apply to due to my foreign bank account?

Thanks in advance for any help!

  • The filing requirement for US citizens living abroad is not new, nor is FBAR. What is fairly new (2010) is FATCA, which mostly affects banks but adds form 8938 to some individual tax returns, and as that IRS page says compliance procedures i.e. many people who used to ignore the law are now forced to obey. If your bank accounts outside the US converted to USD total more than $10k FBAR applies. But if you didn't have much taxable income in 2016 you might be under the filing threshold -- savings aren't income (though interest is) and gifts aren't taxable to you. – dave_thompson_085 Apr 18 '18 at 20:14
  • (Add: the date for FBAR did change recently. It used to be June 30, and was recently moved up to Apr. 15 nominally, but they will actually accept it up to Oct. 15. Either way it is for the prior calendar year.) – dave_thompson_085 Apr 18 '18 at 20:18

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