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us expat tax guide – QATAR

Do I need to file a US tax return as a US citizenship holder in Qatar?

That depends. Your obligation to file a US tax return hinges on your worldwide income level, which varies based on your filing status. For instance, in the tax year 2022:

  • Single filers need to file if their income exceeds US$12,950.
  • Married filing jointly has a threshold of US$25,900.
  • Married filing separately faces a surprisingly low threshold of just US$5.

However, for tax year 2024:

  • Single filers need to file if their income exceeds US$13,850.
  • Married filing jointly has a threshold of US$27,700.
  • Married filing separately is still just US$5 of worldwide income.

 

Remember, worldwide income counts!

It’s crucial to remember that these thresholds apply to your global income, not just earnings from the US. This means your income in Qatar, when converted to US dollars, determines your filing requirement.

What about self-employment income?

If you’re self-employed or earning additional income through side gigs, the threshold is significantly lower. Earning a net self-employment income of US$400 or more mandates filing a tax return, regardless of where this income originates.

Self-employment income generated in Qatar is taxed by the IRS, not as income tax but as self-employment tax.

Qatar does not have a totalization agreement with the US.

Will I owe US taxes on my earnings in Qatar?

Whether you owe US taxes on your Qatar earnings depends on several factors, including your total income and eligibility for certain deductions. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) plays an important role here. For 2024, if your income falls within the exclusion limit (around US$126,500), you might not owe US taxes on your foreign earnings.

What should I remember as a US dual national in Qatar?

  • Filing is Mandatory for Most: If your income exceeds the specified thresholds, you’re required to file a US tax return.
  • Worldwide Income Reporting: All global income must be reported to the IRS, including wages, self-employment income, and any other earnings.
  • Potential for Zero Tax Liability: With the strategic use of exclusions and deductions, it’s possible to reduce your US tax liability to zero, despite the filing requirement.

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