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US Tax HELP (Bern)

Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to InterNations and was hoping that someone out there might have some information for me regarding US tax obligations while abroad? Not the most interesting topic I know..

I am a US citizen, attending the University of Bern on a student visa. My student visa allows me to work max 15 hours a week. My question is whether or not I am obliged to still file my taxes, and if so how?

From what I understand on both the IRS and US Embassy websites, citizens abroad are taxed similarly to citizens residing in the US, i.e. according to their status, age and their income level. A single person, such as myself, needs to pay taxes if their annual income exceeds $10,000, which mine does.

Refer to Ch.1 Filing Requirements
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My questions are whether I need to file a tax return? If so, I always received my W-4 and/or Protected content the mail. How do I file without these documents?

Do I qualify for any exclusions due to the fact that I already pay direct Swiss taxes?

If understand the link below correctly, I qualify based on the assumption that my "tax home" is the US and that I also meet the Bona Fide resident requirement and the physical presence test? But what happens if I go to the US twice a year (in each uni holiday) and am potentially not in Switzerland for Protected content of the year?

If I do meet the 3 requirements above, do I complete the form Protected content ?

Protected content

also info can be found under Ch. 4
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Also, is there any advantages for being a student? Most of the information I find on students refer to foreign students studying in the US and not US students studying abroad. This leads me to believe that, just as in the US, students still file a general W-4, if they have worked during the year.

I apologize for my long and potentially boring post, but I feel that the websites have me reading in circles.

Any help/suggestions/referrals would be greatly appreciated.


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