Monday, February 15, 2010

Gee Thanks, Uncle Sam

I got a care package from the United States of America:

And by care package I mean "even though you don't live here anymore or earn money here or pay taxes here you have to file taxes here or else" package.


Last year I, like the good expatriate I am, filed my taxes in the U.S. For an income earned (and taxed) entirely in Norway. Yeah, you figure that one out. But, I'm a rule follower, so I bucked up and filed.

But - I flinch just writing this - my bottom line was a negative number. Oy vei. I made less than the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion of $91,400. Yes, folks, I'm sorry to break your illusions but I make less than $90k. However I did pay student loan interest in the U.S., for the sake of ease let's say $500.

Let's do some math:

$0 (income)
$500 (student loan interest paid)
-$500 (bottom line of tax return)

I'm no mathematician or IRS finger breaker but I do know that having a negative bottom line on your tax return is like riding Osama bin Laden's back through a gay pride parade with a basket of Haitian babies wearing this:

So Uncle Sam has tracked me down and has shown me in 300 easy to read pages how to not screw it up this time.


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