UNDER the CARES Act, Americans living abroad are eligible to receive the Recovery Rebate alongside Americans in the US.
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act passed the Senate by 96-0 after negotiations between the Republicans and Democrats over the details.
Among other measures, CARES provides a Recovery Rebate to help Americans struggling financially due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The rebate is worth $1,200 per adult (so $2,400 for a married couple who file jointly), and $500 for each dependent child under 17 years old.
To qualify, expats have to have a US social security number, and file US taxes.
The US tax system requires all Americans to file US taxes, reporting their worldwide income, whether they live in the States or abroad. When expats file, they can claim measures such as the Foreign Tax Credit and the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion that mean that most don’t end up owing any US tax, although they always have to file.
The Recovery Rebate is available for all Americans, including expats, who earn up to $75,000 (or $150,000 for married couples). The rebate slowly phases out for Americans who earn above these amounts.
Greg Dewald, Founder and CEO, of Bright!Tax which helps American expatriates with tax matters said: “The Coronavirus outbreak is unprecedented in modern times, and it’s appropriate and right that the US government is providing help for affected Americans around the world. “
Monte Silver, the US expat advocate and international tax attorney, said: “For decades, each tax reform has resulted in Americans abroad getting hit by one tax and disclosure law after another. While all are intended to prevent abuse by multinational corporations and tax cheats, these laws have had drastic effects on the expat community. Now, for the first time in decades, the U.S. government has paid attention to expats, acknowledging that we too were suffering in this crisis and deserve relief.”