A benefit of working in China is that your income won't be taxed! Here's how to file.
TAX FILING GUIDELINES FOR RESIDENTS OF
UNITED STATES, UNITED KINGDOM, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AFRICA AND CANADA.
Do not strictly utilize this article as sole reference for your financial tax return guidelines. Please refer to your resident country’s official government website and phone number for more questions and concerns regarding individual circumstances.
Fill out both Form 2555 Foreign Earned Income and Form 1116
Form 2555 Foreign Earned Income FAQ
List all your addresses in English
Line 9: List your tax home(s) during your tax year and date(s) established
Chinese apartment - Date moved in to Chinese apartment
Part 2: Taxpayers Qualifying Under Bona Fide Residence Test
You are not a Bona Fide resident.
SKIP PART 2
WRITE NA FOR ALL
Part 3: Taxpayers Qualifying Under Physical Presence Test
Not qualified under Physical Presence Test.
SKIP PART 3
WRITE NA FOR ALL
Part 4: All Taxpayers
Line 21: Noncash income (market value of property or facilities furnished by employer—attach statement showing how it was determined)
Don’t need to include for apartment
Part 5: All Taxpayers
Are you claiming the housing exclusion or housing deduction?
Neither because you do not qualify under either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test.
Form 1116 FAQ
If you have to convert from foreign currency, attach a detailed explanation.
Use this link’s https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/USDCNY:CUR exchange rate on the same day you file your tax return. Attach this document as PDF or such.
Your AYC income falls before the “taxable income line,” so you'll need to fill out Forms 2555 and 1116. This shows the money earned abroad for record-keeping purposes, but does not tax that income. If you worked in America during this tax year, that's in addition to your regular 1040-EZ form, which you fill out using a W-2.
Here’s other links for context:
For information directly from the IRS, click HERE to learn about foreign earned income, and HERE to read the 2016 IRS Tax Guide for residents abroad.
Here's an excellent overview on US Tax for Expats Living in China, and a list of deadlines and other useful links, both written by Greenback, an online tax service geared towards US Expats.
To file using an online service, I (Jilli) usually use TaxSlayer (VPN needed). If you still live in China and have no VPN, I’d recommend TurboTax (no VPN needed).
Use the ‘foreign’ section of the tax return to record your overseas income or gains.
Include income that’s already been taxed abroad to get Foreign Tax Credit Relief, if you’re eligible.
HMRC has guidance on how to report your foreign income or gains in your tax return in ‘Foreign notes’.
If you're a New Zealand resident, you're taxed on your worldwide income. This means you'll need to declare any income you earn outside New Zealand. You'll need to complete an Individual income return (IR3) at the end of the tax year (31 March) and will need to include proof of any overseas tax paid.
It is also recommended to sign up for myIR to keep track of documents and records.
Please refer to the New Zealand Inland Revenue website for further information/details on filing taxes while abroad
If you’re considered an Australian resident for tax purposes, you may still need to pay tax in Australia on income you earn overseas – even if you’ve already paid tax in the country you’re currently working or residing in. If you have already paid tax overseas, you may be eligible to claim a foreign income tax offset in Australia. However, if the tax rate you paid overseas is lower than the tax rate you would pay on the same income in Australia, then you may need to cover the difference. (https://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/resources/self-employment-tax/need-pay-tax-australia-working-overseas/)
Guide to foreign income tax offset rules 2018
How to report foreign tax
If you are an Australian resident working overseas, or a non-resident with Australian investment income, you’ll still need to complete an Australian tax return. You’ll generally need to add any foreign tax you’ve paid back onto your net employment income to calculate your ‘assessable foreign income’. You can then claim a foreign income tax offset for the tax you’ve already paid overseas.
Make sure you remember to convert all your overseas income and foreign tax paid to Australian dollars when completing your Aussie tax return.
LODGING TAX RETURN FROM OUTSIDE AUSTRALIA
Calculating and claiming your foreign income tax offset
If you are a tax resident of South Africa, you are subject to tax on worldwide income, irrespective of where the income is earned. You may, however, qualify for certain tax exemptions (such as an exemption against interest received, or an exemption against foreign employment income). Should you be subject to tax in more than one country, you may also qualify for tax relief under a Double Taxation Agreement. In most instances, a resident working overseas will be required to submit a return. Find out if you need to submit a return. For more information please see also GG 40898 Notice 547.
You do not fall under 183/60 Tax Exemption since you must spend at least 183 days (about six months) of a consecutive 12-month period outside South Africa, rendering services to your foreign employer and at least 60 of those 183 days must be continuous or unbroken. Our program is for 10 months, therefore this does not apply.
Canadians Living Temporarily Abroad
If you are temporarily living abroad, you are considered a factual resident of Canada so long as your residential and personal ties remain with Canada. You could also be a factual resident of Canada under the following circumstances:
You worked temporarily outside of Canada.
You teach or attend a school outside of Canada.
You commute daily or weekly to work in the United States.
You regularly vacation outside of Canada.
Tax Filing Obligations For Canadians Living Temporarily Outside of Canada.
As a Canadian working abroad, you still have to:
File a regular personal tax return, which is due on April 30th of the following year.
Pay tax on your worldwide income, which is income earned inside as well as outside of Canada.
Claim all deductions and tax credits.
Pay both Federal and Provincial tax to the CRA.
Let’s look at an example. George’s employer transfers him to Hong Kong for 18 months. He is leaving his spouse and child behind in Canada and he is still maintaining his permanent home in Canada. He is temporarily renting accommodations in Hong Kong, provided to him by his employer. In this case, George is clearly a factual resident of Canada, and he is therefore subject to income tax on his worldwide income: the income earned in both Hong Kong and Canada.
Foreign Tax Credits
As a Canadian who is temporarily working abroad, you might be worried about double taxation: having to pay taxes in the country where you are currently working, as well as having to pay taxes in Canada. Fortunately, the Canadian Income Tax Act can provide tax relief through a foreign tax credit. You can claim a foreign tax credit for the taxes that you paid in a foreign country.
The foreign tax credit is the lesser of two amounts:
The income tax you paid to the foreign country, or:
The Canadian tax payable on the foreign source of income.
So if you’re working in a country that has a very low tax rate, you will most likely get all the foreign taxes credited back to you on your Canadian personal income tax return.