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I'm a US citizen / Indian resident. Income I make goes through the usual W9 form (instead of a W8), and I keep a US billing address while filling it in.

If, in the future, I no longer am able to list that address as a billing address and have to list an address in India, what changes with regards to collecting income (and filing taxes)?

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Clarifying littleadv's answer a bit, where he says, "As a US citizen - you're always considered a US resident for tax purposes."

This is not quite true. What I think he is trying to say is that you are always under the jurisdiction of the US tax code and subject to US tax law. Tax law does, however, differentiate between citizenship and residency, and residency considerations are quite important if you are abroad.

In general, the test of foreign residency (along with big tax deductions) is whether you are outside the US for virtually all the time (the physical presence test, iirc 330 days a year in foreign countries) or the residency test (where you are legally resident and whether you have made representations to any government anywhere that you are a US resident). If you pass the tests for foreign residency on either test, you may be eligible for income tax deductions but not FUMA/FICA tax deductions.

Since these tests involve residency, including legal residency, the only way your billing address in the US could become an issue is if you represent yourself as residing there to any government anywhere in the world. If it is always only a billing address, and never presented as an address of residency that should be good, but if you ever say you reside there then you have to pass the physical presence test to be a foreign resident.

So the answer is "no." However it can result in trouble if you aren't careful about how you present yourself.

EDIT

For example, if you come back to the US for two months or so and tell the state government (maybe to renew your state driver license) that you live at your billing address, that could jeopardize your foreign tax exclusion. The mere presence of a US billing address has no effect, but how you present it in many cases might.

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  • Yeah, I know that I am still subject to taxes. The question is not so much with having a billing address outside, as to what changes if I start listing a local (Indian) address as the billing address. – Manishearth Mar 16 '14 at 9:15
  • There's no difference in the US tax law regarding residency. What you're referring to, the foreign income exclusion, is available to anyone qualifying, and is a rule for all US tax residents. The qualification being living in a foreign land for a certain period of time, but that doesn't make you a non-resident for tax purposes (and you don't have to be a resident for tax purposes elsewhere). – littleadv Mar 17 '14 at 4:20
  • To explain further the distinction between "billing address" and "residency", see the OP's question. His billing address is in the US, while he clearly lives in India. That means, regardless of his billing address, the foreign income exclusion rules are available to him. As I said, billing address has nothing to do with the application of the tax law. What matters is where the OP lives, not what address he puts on the W9 form. – littleadv Mar 17 '14 at 4:21
  • @littleadv, it would disqualify him from the foreign residency test regarding foreign income exclusion if he cannot say he has not made any representation that he is residing at that address to any foreign government. I fill out that paperwork every year :-P, which was the point of my post. In such a case he might still pass the physical presence test however. If he comes back to the US for two months and tells the state government he is residing at his billing address, that would be a problem though. – Chris Travers Mar 17 '14 at 5:22
  • @Chris what, billing address at a bank? No, it would not. It has no meaning and will not affect the tax return in any way whatsoever. If you have any other opinion - please provide a reference to a relevant statute. The address he's giving to the bank - is given to the bank. Your example in the edit is irrelevant - the OP specifically asked about a billing address used in his bank. – littleadv Mar 17 '14 at 5:24
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I suggest you ask tax related questions at money@SE. The answer to your question is NO. Your billing address has nothing to do with taxes whatsoever.

Where you live might affect your taxes (which incidentally has nothing to do with the billing address you're using), but that's an entirely separate issue. As a US citizen - you're always considered a US resident for tax purposes.

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  • I wonder why the downvote. I consider it extremely rude to downvote without a comment, and I generally do not participate in the SE sites where this is a norm. Since this one is in early beta stages, I'd appreciate the people reading this to take it to their attention and not be jerks like the person who downvoted this answer. – littleadv Mar 17 '14 at 4:18

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