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Americans Abroad Entitled to Recovery Rebate Funds

US Citizens and Green Card Holders Living Overseas will be able to receive $1200 ($2400 for married couples) and $500 per dependant

Published on March 27, 2020

The $2 Trillion US stimulus package passed by the Senate on Wednesday (March 25), and expected to be passed today (March 27) by the House of Representatives, contains provisions which will mean American Citizens and Green Card Holders living outside of the US will be eligible to receive funds.

According to the package, nicknamed the 'Recovery Rebate', US taxpayers making $75,000 and below will receive a $1,200 check, while married couples making $150,000 and below will receive $2,400. $500 per dependant will also be available to those individuals and couples earning less than those figures. For those earning between $75,000 and $99,000, a portion of those funds will be available.

The bill is expected to be passed by today, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated there would likely be a "strong bipartisan vote". Sources indicated that "For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required in order to receive a rebate check".

The change to the wording which allowed overseas Americans to receive support has been welcomed by prominent overseas American advocate, Monte Silver. "Our advocacy has generated a few wins in the last 2 years, but nothing like this, says Monte, a US tax attorney who has had success in advocacy in the area of the Transition tax and GILTI. "And at a time when it is most needed. The Corona virus has been devastating to everyone. And as a result of last-minute advocacy, Congress changed the wording, the final version approved by the Senate and expected to become law today came up BIG for Americans abroad."

Katelynn Minott, a partner and Lead CPA at expat tax specialist firm Bright!Tax, said: "The new Recovery Rebate is great news for expats. It is applied automatically, and to qualify American expats simply need to have a US social security number, and to file a federal return". Bright!Tax also say they are offering a filing discount to expats who qualify for the full Recovery Rebate.

The news is a hugely welcome one for overseas Americans, especially those in the UK who for aren't eligible for UK support. In an article for CBS, Haley Ott reported on Americans in the UK being in limbo, "Ineligible for support from the British government if they lose their jobs, they also have no homes — or health insurance — to go back to in the US."

We'll update you on further details as they come in, but if you have any immediate questions, contacting your tax advisor would be a good place to start.

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