I am American and a digital nomad

3 min
Published on: 10-01-2023 Last modified on: 18-03-2024

What you need to know about your US tax obligations

You must file, wherever you call home.

All US residents and Green Card holders must file a yearly US tax return detailing their worldwide income.

Questions about your tax obligations

As a digital nomad, you are considered an American resident for tax purposes. You may have questions about your tax obligations.

Since 2015, Americans Overseas has been helping thousands of people living outside the United States with questions and problems regarding their (US) tax liability.

The double tax liability, both in the country of residence and in the US, is a burden for many expats. By lobbying local, European, and American politics, Americans Overseas tries to find a sustainable solution for Americans living overseas.

We have already achieved a lot but are not there yet. By having Americans Overseas take care of your tax return, you are supporting this effort.

We make it easy for digital nomads to stay on top of their taxes.

Contact us for more information

Here are some things to keep in mind as a US digital nomad:

Local tax return

Please check with the local tax authorities in your country of residence if you are required to file a local tax return. In many cases, you will be required to file a return if you earn income outside of the United States.

US tax return, Form 1040

You are required to file a US return (Form 1040) also if you work and live abroad. You need to report your worldwide income and may owe taxes to the United States. This is because the United States system is based on citizenship, not residency-based. Don’t file late! Here are the most important tax deadlines to consider :

  • April 15th is the filing deadline if you owe US taxes
  • June 15th is the deadline for US expat taxes
  • Oct 15th, FBAR deadline & tax deadline if you filed for an extension
  • Dec 15th the tax deadline if you filed a second extension

Tax treaty

If the United States has signed a tax treaty with the country in which you live and/or work, you have to pay less or no tax to the US for part of your income or capital because you are already paid in the country of residence. This differs per country. Form 1116 and Form 2555 are regularly being used by Americans living abroad, in addition to your Form 1040.

Tax benefits for expats

Yes, that’s right! There are several countries where you have a great tax advantage as an expat. For example, the current 30% ruling in the Netherlands. It is therefore highly advisable to obtain good advice so that you do not unnecessarily pay double tax or miss out on tax deductions.


Do not forget to report your foreign bank accounts on time. Submitting your FBAR on time prevents high fines and unpleasant surprises. FBAR stands for “Foreign Bank Account Report”.

In short, you need to declare all foreign bank accounts (accounts not in the US) to the US treasury. No tax is levied on the amounts specified. However, the fines for incorrect or late filing are absurd. The FBAR is an annual report, due April 15 following the calendar year reported. You’re allowed an automatic extension to October 15.

Not aware of your US tax obligation?

No worries, you are not the only one. The IRS has a very good amnesty program, called the Streamlined Procedure. Americans Overseas is happy to help you get compliant again without any penalties. 

More information on US tax obligations for American digital nomads

We, the founders of Americans Overseas, were born in the Netherlands and obtained our American nationality through our (American) mother. When we heard about this for the first time around 2013, we were in total disbelief (it can’t be true!), anger (how can they do this?), fear (am I going to get fined or pick up other problems?), and panic (what should I do?).

It is (unfortunately) true that there is an additional American tax levy. But there’s no information from the local government, and when approached, the consulate referred us to the IRS, and the IRS was impenetrable.

That’s why we started this initiative. To help people from all over the world by providing proper information to avoid unnecessary panic, and offering help free of obligation and free of charge. If needed, we have a network of affordable professionals (accountants) who can help you with your tax obligations.

If you have more questions about the US tax obligation you can contact us at Americans Overseas.



Contact us for more information