Thanks for your reply. As I live in Thailand, which does have some sort of tax treaty with the USA. The majority of people working in this region are doing so as teachers, either employed by a foreign school in the country in which they reside, or working online for Chinese or other companies. None of those provide a W-2 or 1099-MISC to anyone. The are foreign companies. They couldn't care less about the USA or what the IRS requirements are. I could declare my part-time online teaching income as self-employment income. It's less than $10k. My impression is that I could choose to pay Social Security/Medicare tax (and it might benefit me in terms of Soc. Sec.) but I did a run-through on TurboTax and wasn't required to pay. So, for the time being, I don't think I will.
Hi. I've been a teacher in Thailand for four years. I'd like to catch up on filing my US taxes. I have a low salary by US standards and no assets, so I'm wondering whether I really need to use the streamlined filing procedures to catch up, or if I should just file normally. Any thoughts? I've been told repeatedly that we HAVE to file US taxes, even if our income falls significantly below the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Also, I plan to get student loans for a master's degree program and need to have filed taxes to meet their requirements. Another interesting question is that many of my colleagues and I do online teaching for Chinese companies from Thailand. Income earned in Thailand for a Chinese company. I've heard teachers in the USA tell people that they must file as an independent contractor and report the income as 'self-employment' income. I wasn't going to bother to report it because there is no 1099 and my income will already fall well below the FEIE threshold. It just seems like unnecessary paperwork.