As a U.S. citizen, if my total income earned in a foreign country is less than $10,000, do I still need to file for a foreign earned income exclusion? I meet the bona fide resident test and appear to otherwise qualify for the exclusion. However, as I understand, if foreign earned income is less than $10,000, then a form 1040 does not need to be filed. And as form 1040 goes hand-in-hand with form 2555 for foreign earned income exclusion, it seems that I would not need to file any tax forms. Did I understand this right? I am a university student with a permanent residence in the foreign country and completing the entirety of my degree there, if this helps.

1 Answer 1


If you're below filing threshold - you're probably not going to pay any tax regardless, so no point in claiming exemption anyway.

  • This is, assuming he doesn't have any US-source income in addition to this foreign income.
    – Alex
    Mar 11 at 5:10

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