Free File Program Expanded to Include Returns Filed From Overseas

The IRS on Friday announced that taxpayers who live in foreign countries can now use the Free File program to prepare and e-file their federal tax returns (IR-2011-30). The program is available to both U.S. citizens and resident aliens, and currently five of the Free File software providers can accept returns filed from foreign addresses.


The Free File program is available to taxpayers with adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less. The IRS in its announcement points out that the $58,000 income limit applies after the IRC § 911 foreign earned income exclusion is subtracted from the taxpayer’s total income. This means that taxpayers living abroad who use the foreign earned income exclusion can potentially earn up to $149,500 and still be eligible to use the Free File program.


The IRS warns, however, that taxpayers claiming the foreign earned income exclusion or a foreign tax credit should make sure that the Free File software they are using supports Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, and Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit.


The IRS’ Free File system is available at


More from the JofA:


 Find us on Facebook  |   Follow us on Twitter  |   View JofA videos


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.