Navigating U.S. Taxes like a Boss: 7 Must-Know Tips for Global Entrepreneurs

2 Minutes Read

Hey there, international superstar living it up in gorgeous <add any country outside the USA>!

So, you're chilling outside the U.S.A. and wondering if you need to bother with U.S. income taxes, right?

Well, buckle up because I've got the scoop for you, and trust me, it's not as complicated as it sounds.

Tax Questions

Here are seven (7) quick tax questions you may be asking yourself:

Tax Residency

When it comes to taxes, where you hang your hat matters. If you've got a U.S. Green Card or Passport, Uncle Sam expects you to spill the beans on all your income, whether it's from the U.S. or anywhere else on this planet. It's just one of those things about being a resident of the good ol' U.S.A. But if you don't have the Green Card or Passport, things depend on how you're making that dough.

Becoming a U.S. Resident Green Card/Citizen

To join the tax-paying club in the land of burgers and freedom, you've got a few choices:

  1. Score yourself a Green Card (kind of like a fancy foreigner's membership card).
  2. Meet the "Spending Time in the U.S." test. Basically, they count your days here, and if you're racking up more days in the U.S. than anywhere else, you could be considered a resident.
  3. Make a first-year election, which is like saying, "Hey, I'm all in for paying taxes here."
  4. If you've got a U.S. Passport (you're a citizen), you're a full-on tax resident no matter where you hang your hat, and you've got to report that global income.

Tax Rules for Non-Resident Aliens (no Green Card; no U.S. Passport)

If you're not in the resident club, you'll only pay taxes on what you make in the U.S. Different types of income might have different tax rates. Let's say you're selling stuff on Amazon USA – that means you've got U.S. nexus and owe U.S. taxes, no matter where you're calling home.

Filing Requirements

When tax season rolls around, Green Card and Passport holders use Form 1040, just like the locals. Non-resident aliens have their own form, 1040-NR. And remember, if you've got tax ties to a state, their rules can be a bit like the rules of a board game – they change depending on how you're earning your bucks.

Taxpayer ID

To join the tax party, you'll need a special ID known as a Taxpayer Identification Number. It's like your VIP pass to the U.S. tax scene. Foreign citizens can apply for an ITIN, but keep in mind, the process might involve sending your passport by mail, and it can take a while. If you're rocking a Green Card or Passport, you're required to get an SSN (Social Security Number) for tax filings and financial business in the U.S.


Good news! There are deals in place to ensure you're not taxed twice. Many countries have treaties in place that let you use credits from both the U.S. and your home tax residency so you avoid double taxation.

Reporting Foreign Accounts

Now, if you're holding a Green Card or U.S. Passport and you've got cash stashed in foreign accounts, you might have some extra paperwork to deal with beyond your regular tax return. It could be something as simple as having your name on a foreign account or asset (like a safe deposit box). The penalties for not reporting are no joke, so make sure you're on top of this.

Now, I get it, taxes can make your head spin faster than a rollercoaster. 

But guess what?

Our incredible team at Insogna CPA specializes in simplifying taxes, especially when it comes to figuring out if you need to file those U.S. taxes or not. So, don't hesitate to reach out to our experts. We've got your back!

Contact us today, and let's clear up whether U.S. taxes are on your to-do list or not. It's way less scary than you'd think!

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