July 27, 2021

Paying US Taxes as an Expat Abroad – What You Need To Know

Paying US Taxes as an Expat Abroad – What You Need To Know

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about paying US taxes abroad - and a lot of things you didn't know you needed to know! IE: Required tax documents, important deadlines, and valuable tax deductions for expats, world travelers, and digital nomads.

David and Carrie McKeegan are the founders of Greenback Tax Services, one of the top tax prep service companies for expats and Americans abroad. The couple and their three children have been living abroad for many years and started offering expat tax services after becoming frustrated with the confusion around paying US taxes abroad. 

In part 2 of this interview, David and Carrie fill you in on everything you need to know about paying taxes abroad as a digital nomad, international traveler, or retiree. From required tax documents to important deductions and deadlines, this dynamic duo covers all the bases! 

They even share two ways you can reduce or eliminate your US tax burden, the consequences of not filing taxes while living abroad, and their candid opinions on digital nomad visas and how to avoid state income taxes.

We know how much expats like to procrastinate on filing their tax returns (wink). If you need professional tax advice or just want to know where to get started, tune in to this episode to learn from the experts and don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have any further questions!



  • Is it possible to pay zero taxes as a US citizen abroad? 
  • The tax write-offs, deadlines, and forms you need to know about as a US citizen living abroad. 
  • The three countries that tax their citizens regardless of where they live.
  • FEIE: Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
  • Why the US State Department revokes people's passports sometimes. 
  • FATCA and FBAR forms, and what happens if you don’t file your tax returns while living abroad.
  • How to know if you have to pay taxes in the country you’re living in as an expat.
  • How to open an offshore bank account.
  • Requirements for opening a bank account in Costa Rica. 
  • Pros and cons of getting residency in Costa Rica. 
  • Digital nomad visas versus "passport runs" and "perpetual tourism."
  • The biggest tax deductions and exclusions expats and retirees should know about.
  • How to reduce or avoid paying US taxes and double taxation as an expat with Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and Foreign Tax Credit.
  • Important tax dates and deadlines you should know about as an expat.
  • Pros and cons to establishing your business is another country. 
  • Recommendations for bookkeeping and tax software for business owners and digital nomads.
  • How to pay zero or low taxes in Puerto Rico.
  • How to collect Social Security abroad. 



  • Do US citizens have to file taxes if they live abroad? 
  • What are the best ways to lower your tax burden? 
  • Which tax credits and deadlines should every expat know about?
  • What are the consequences of not filing your tax returns?
  • Will the US ever implement a residency-based tax structure?
  • Can you change your tax domicile as an expat to avoid paying state income taxes?
  • What are the best countries for expats to live in for low taxes? 
  • What do traveling remote employees on payroll need to know? 
  • What about double taxation? 
  • What are the most important tax forms people should know about? 
  • Why should people know about the W8-BEN form?
  • How to file tax extensions as an expat? 
  • Will the US ever change the tax rules for Americans abroad? 
  • Which types of people and businesses does Greenback help with taxes? 
  • Are there any special considerations that retirees should know about? 
  • Can you receive social security checks abroad? 
  • Will there be any changes to US taxes and healthcare in the future? 
  • And more!



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Do you have questions about living abroad? Email Kristin at info@orbisrelocation.com 



Gracias to Henry Martinez for the coffees! ☕️

And a special thank you to my 2021 Patrons: Teklordz, Walt, Shawn, Richard Y, RZ, Craig S, Colin, Heather, Karen, Kiran, Scott, Michael, Issac, Mike M, Yasmine, Erick M, Yohji, Gary R ,Ron, Gary, Ray, Annie, Henry L, Kelly, Alejandra, Keith, Stephen, Henry M, Warren, James, Daniel, Javier, Gary, Emily, Rich, Aisha, Phil, Anthony, and Anna. 

Special welcome to my newest Patrons: Kathleen, Jennifer, Anna, Anthony, Aisha, Rich, and Phil!

Become a Patron for $5/month at Patreon.com/travelingwithkristin


Podcast descriptions may contain affiliate links of products and services we use and recommend at no additional cost to you. 

David McKeegan, MBA, EAProfile Photo

David McKeegan, MBA, EA

Co-Founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services

David McKeegan is an Enrolled Agent, an MBA, an experienced finance professional, and entrepreneur. After years of living abroad, David and his wife Carrie McKeegan struggled to find an accounting service to meet their unique needs as expats. In 2008, they co-founded Greenback Expat Tax Services to provide a better, easier way for American expats around the globe to prepare their US tax returns. As co-founder, Dave plays a key part in the business by acting as the company spokesperson—helping expats, journalists, and the world understand the nuances of expat taxes.