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Eligibility Requirements Waived for Individuals in Certain Countries Claiming Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

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The IRS has provided a waiver for any individual who failed to meet the foreign earned income or deduction eligibility requirements of Code Sec. 911(d)(1) because adverse conditions in a foreign country precluded the individual from meeting the requirements for the 2021 tax year. Qualified individuals may exempt from taxation their foreign earned income and housing cost amounts.

Relief Provided

The countries for which the eligibility requirements have been waived for 2021 are Iraq, Burma, Chad, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Accordingly, an individual who left the following countries beginning on the specified date will be treated as a qualified individual with respect to the period during which that individual was present in, or was a bona fide resident of the country: (1) Iraq on or after January 19, 2021; (2) Burma on or after March 30, 2021; Chad on or after April 17, 2021; (4) Afghanistan on or after April 27, 2021, and; (5) Ethiopia on or after November 5, 2021. Individuals who left the above mentioned countries must establish a reasonable expectation that he or she would have met the requirements of Code Sec. 911(d)(1) but for those adverse conditions. Further, individuals who established residency, or were first physically present in Iraq, after January 19, 2021, are not eligible for the waiver. Taxpayers who need assistance on how to claim the exclusion, or how to file an amended return, should consult the section under the heading “Foreign Earned Income Exclusion” at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/us-citizens-and-resident-aliens-abroad; consult the section under the heading How to Get Tax Help at the same web address; or contact a local IRS office.