The IRS has waived the eligibility requirements under IRC § 911(d)(1) for certain taxpayers who did not meet the requirements because of adverse conditions in the foreign country in which they lived ( Revenue Procedure 2011-20 ). The affected countries for 2010 are Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire (also known as Ivory Coast).
Under section 911(d)(1), a qualified individual can exclude from income certain foreign earned income and housing cost amounts. To qualify, the individual must have his or her tax home in a foreign country and either (1) be a U.S. citizen and establish that he or she was a bona fide resident of a foreign country for the entire tax year or (2) be a citizen or resident of the United States and be present in a foreign country for at least 330 full days during any 12-month period.
There is an exception to these two requirements for people who leave the foreign country in which they reside during a period that the Treasury secretary determines they were required to leave because of war, civil unrest or other adverse conditions. The individual must then establish that, but for the adverse conditions, he or she would have met the eligibility requirements under section 911(d)(1).
The Treasury secretary has determined that for 2010 such conditions existed in Haiti and Côte d’Ivoire. Therefore, a taxpayer who left Haiti on or after Jan. 13, 2010 (the day after the massive earthquake there), or Côte d’Ivoire on or after Dec. 19, 2010 (the day the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for that country), will be treated as a qualified individual if he or she can establish a reasonable expectation of meeting the requirements of section 911(d) but for those conditions.
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