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Does the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) apply to American expats in Qatar?

Yes, for American dual nationals living in Qatar, the FEIE allows you to exclude up to $126,500 of foreign-earned income from US taxes in 2024, provided you meet specific eligibility criteria. This tax provision can significantly reduce your US tax liabilities while working abroad.

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What are the eligibility criteria for the FEIE?

To qualify for the FEIE, you must meet either the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Residence Test:

  • Physical Presence Test: Requires spending at least 330 full days outside the US in a continuous 12-month period. This 12-month period can be chosen flexibly to fit your situation.
  • Bona Fide Residence Test: Requires you to be a bona fide resident of a foreign country for an entire tax year.

Is it possible to exclude up to $126,500 of income earned in Qatar?

Yes, if you qualify for the FEIE by meeting either the residency or presence tests, you can exclude up to $126,500 of the income earned while in Qatar from US taxation.

What constitutes the 330 days needed for the Physical Presence Test?

For the Physical Presence Test, you must be physically present in one or more foreign countries for at least 330 full days within a 12-month span. This period does not need to align with the calendar year. Only days spent abroad count, allowing up to 35 days in the US without affecting your eligibility for the exclusion.

How is the FEIE applied across different tax years?

Using the Physical Presence Test, you can straddle two tax years to meet the 330-day requirement. However, the exclusion applies only to income earned during the tax year for which you are filing, not across multiple years.

Can expats in Doha also claim the Foreign Housing Exclusion?

Yes, if you are living in Doha, you may also be eligible for the Foreign Housing Exclusion. This exclusion allows you to reduce your taxable income further by covering certain housing expenses abroad. Combined with the FEIE, this can significantly increase your savings on US taxes, provided you meet the required conditions.

Why partner with a specialist Expat accountant?

Living outside of the US can make your tax filing requirements complicated. To ensure you pay the minimum amount of taxes, it’s critical to work with an accountant who understands every aspect and avenue for reducing your tax liability. We have a dedicated team of tax accountants who work exclusively with US expats earning and investing in Germany. Partnering with a specialist expat accountant can help you navigate complex tax regulations and optimize your tax situation.


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