Frequently Asked Questions

What is the refundable child tax credit?

Starting in 2001, the IRS has refunded up to $600 to those qualifying for the additional child tax credit. The “Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003” increased the maximum child tax credit for 2003 to $1,000 per child! For more information, click here.

My bank/brokerage firm is requesting that I complete a form W-8BEN. What is its purpose?

Non-resident aliens are required to provide a U.S. identification number (ITIN) for withholding purposes on their financial investments in the U.S. You may be subject to a reduced rate of withholding depending on your country of residence. For a fill-in form, please click here. U.S. citizens should not complete the W-8BEN. They should file a Form W-9 as they are not subject to withholding.

I am a U.S. citizen employed in Israel. What are my U.S. tax obligations?

In most cases, you will be required to file a tax return. However, due to the foreign earned income exclusion, you may have no tax liability.

I am a U.S. citizen living overseas, married (with 2 children) to a non-U.S. citizen. How do I file my U.S. tax return?

You have 3 options:

1. Married filing jointly
2. Married filing separately
3. Head of Household

The benefits of each specific filing status vary according to your specific circumstances.

I am a U.S. citizen living in Israel and have opened an Israeli bank account. Must I report interest income earned in New Israeli Shekels on my U.S. tax return?

The IRS requires U.S. citizens to report their worldwide income in U.S. dollars. If the Israeli government assessed any tax, you are entitled to take a tax credit against any U.S. income tax on this income.

I worked for several years in the U.S. and have recently moved to Israel. I paid a great deal of money into the American Social Security system. Will I be eligible for Social Security pension upon my retirement?

You are entitled to Social Security even after leaving the U.S. if you meet one basic condition: you must have paid in 40 quarters of Social Security payments. If you have not achieved the full 40 quarters, we can help you obtain them even while living in Israel. Once eligible, you will receive the payments which are not subject to either U.S. or Israeli tax. For the amount of benefits you are entitled to click here. To check the number of quarters you have, click here (scrool to the bottom of page and click-‘request a social security statement’).

What are the 2015 exchange rates?

The 2015 average x-rate (used for tax returns) is 4.05 NIS/USD

The 2015 year-end x-rate (for FBARs) is 3.9 NIS/USD

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While we have made every effort to offer current and accurate information, errors can occur. Changes in laws and regulations over time may affect this material. This information is not given with any guarantee of completeness or with any warranty of any kind. Philip Stein and Associates does not endorse any methods, activities, software, or services mentioned in this site.
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