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US Expats Taxes in the Middle East

Middle East taxation and filing requirements change considerably depending on your tax residency.

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US Expats in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is widely recognized as the Middle East’s hub for finance and business, attracting a flourishing expatriate community. Approximately 88% of the UAE’s population consists of expatriates from various nations, making it a diverse and vibrant society.

American Expat taxes in the UAE overview

American Population

There are over 50,000 US expats residing in the UAE.

Tax Treaty

Unfortunately, UAE has no tax treaty with the US.

Totalization Agreement

There is no established Totalization Agreement between the UAE and US.

Do I have to file?

Although the UAE is known as a no-tax country, US citizens are still required to file a US tax return regardless of where they live.

Tax Deductions

US expats in the UAE can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and Foreign Housing Exclusion to reduce their tax liability.

Foreign Housing Exclusion Amount

The maximum claim for Abu Dhabi is $30,487. For Dubai, it’s $37,974.

US EXPAT TAX GUIDE – UAE

Do I have to pay taxes in the UAE?

The answer really depends on several factors, including your income. Whether or not you pay taxes will depend on your tax situation. Let us take the example of a US citizen or green card holder living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and earning $100,000. This person has established residency in the UAE, and they have a foreign-earned income of $100,000 in a tax year.

For the 2023 tax year, the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is $120,000. So, the US person would get fully excluded on the basis that they qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion because of their $100,000 income. As a result, this US person would end up with zero taxable income.

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US Expats in Saudi Arabia

Living in Saudi Arabia as an American expat or dual national brings its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to taxes. The US has a unique way of handling taxes—it considers the worldwide income of its citizens and green card holders. So, if you’re in Saudi Arabia, it’s important to keep in mind that your income, no matter where it’s earned, falls under the US tax umbrella.

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American Expat taxes in Saudi Arabia overview

American Population

There are over 80,000 US expats residing in the UAE.

Tax Treaty

Saudi has no tax treaty with the United States.

Totalization Agreement

There is no established Totalization Agreement between Saudi and the US.

Do I have to file?

US citizens are still required to file a US tax return. It’s not just about where you earn your money; it’s about how much you earn and your marital status.

Tax Deductions

Americans in Saudi can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and Foreign Housing Exclusion to reduce their tax liability.

Foreign Housing Exclusion Amount

The maximum claim for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is $20,800. 

US EXPAT TAX GUIDE – SAUDI ARABIA

How does GOSI affect US tax returns?

For US citizenship holders living and working in Saudi Arabia, the portion of their income contributed to GOSI can have tax implications back in the US.

Specifically, the employee’s contributions to GOSI can be claimed as a credit on their US tax return. This can potentially reduce the amount of tax owed to the IRS.

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US Expats in Qatar

For American expats looking for new experiences and employment chances overseas, Qatar is a desirable destination because of its strategic position, safety, cultural diversity, quality of life, tax incentives, and professional opportunities.

American Expat taxes in Qatar overview

American Population

Over 10,000 US expats are currently living and working in Qatar.

Tax Treaty

Like the UAE and Saudi, Qatar has no tax treaty with the United States.

Totalization Agreement

US and Qatar have no established Totalization Agreement between them.

Do I have to file?

That depends. Your obligation to file a US tax return hinges on your worldwide income level, which varies based on your filing status.

Tax Deductions

Us citizens in Qatar can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and Foreign Housing Exclusion to reduce their tax liability.

Foreign Housing Exclusion Amount

For Doha, Qatar, the maximum FHE claim is $26,688. 

US EXPAT TAX GUIDE – QATAR

Are employer-provided housing benefits taxable in Qatar?

Yes, if your employer in Qatar covers your housing for the first six to twelve months or any period, this benefit is considered a non-cash benefit by the IRS.

The value of the housing provided by your employer is taxable and must be reported on your US tax return. This is because the IRS views these benefits as part of your compensation package, even though they are not received as direct income.

Meet Our Middle East Team

Why partner with a specialist Expat accountant?

Receiving the lowest possible tax bill comes from partnering with the most experienced expatriate accountant. US expatriate accounting is complex and your reporting information changes depending on what country you choose to live in. Living outside the USA can make your tax filing requirements quite complicated and to make sure you pay the absolute minimum it’s critical that your accountant understands every aspect and avenue to deliver the lowest tax liability possible. We have a dedicated team of tax accountants that work exclusively with US expats that work, earn and invest in the Middle East.

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Leo Zimny

US CPA
Tax Director
34 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$347.

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Darryl Albuquerque

Enrolled Agent
Senior Tax Manager
20 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$347.

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Deborshi Choudhury

Enrolled Agent
Senior Tax Manager
16 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$247.

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Emmanuel Remigio

Enrolled Agent, CPA
Tax Manager
12 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$247.

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Grace Lorraine Angeles

Enrolled Agent, CPA
Tax Manager
12 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$247.

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Jefferson Clemente

CPA
Tax Manager
11 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$247.

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Aya Takriti

Enrolled Agent
Tax Manager
10 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$247.

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Darshana Dhanani

Enrolled Agent
Senior Assosciate
8 years of Expat Tax Experience

30-minutes US$247.