IRS Filing Requirements For Americans Abroad

“Kathleen, just read your article on not having to have health insurance if you live overseas, and I have one question. Our lawyer and people at the IRS tell me that no matter where you live if you pay U.S. income taxes you must either have health insurance or you will be subject to the same fee (tax) as one living in the United States. In doing my tax return this week I see where there is a question as to whether or not you had health insurance during the year (2014). Please verify.”

–Charles A., United States

Look up Form 8965 on the IRS’s website and read the related instructions. You’ll find the exemptions to the requirement for health insurance. Specifically addressed are Americans living outside the United States.

The current issue of our Simon Letter, out today, features our annual “Staying Tax Compliant As An American Abroad” feature. In it, Lief Simon details everything you need to know about IRS filing requirements and staying compliant both as an American living overseas and an American resident in the United States and investing offshore. In addition, this issue includes a detailed report on filing requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act.


“How do you go about filing taxes in the U.S. if you’re living in Europe?”

Anna Marie D., United States (September 8, 2008)

Go to,  to Publication 54). You can print out the appropriate forms from the website. However, after you’ve completed them, you must file them by mail (that is, you can’t file electronically if you’re not living in the States).

Note that if you’re not physically present in the U.S. on April 15, you enjoy an automatic filing deadline extension. Your return isn’t due until Aug. 15


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