exemption of income from taxation
The U.S. Supreme Court only rarely takes tax cases for certiorari review. It is common that no more than one federal tax case is reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court during their entire annual term.
Accordingly, it was not surprising that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a decision of a Hong Kong-based flight attendant who as a U.S. citizen took the foreign earned income exclusion (“FEIE”) pursuant to IRC Section 911 on all of her income. The Treasury Regulations §1.911-3(a) have a specific rule regarding source of income and provides: “Earned income is from sources within a foreign country if it is attributable to services performed by an individual in a foreign country or countries.”
The IRS assessed tax and a 20% “negligence” penalty against the Hong Kong based flight attendant Ms. Yen-Ling K. Rogers. Judge Cohen of the U.S. Tax Court wrote the 2013 opinion, Rogers vs. Commissioner, TC Memo. 2013-77 – U.S. Tax Court
See prior posts on the FEIE; The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion is Only Available If a U.S. Income Tax Return is Filed, April 21, 2014.
See also USCs and LPRs Living Outside the U.S. – Key Tax and BSA Forms, dated March 17, 2014 that discusses in some detail IRS Form 2555.
The Court of Appeals for the District Of Columbia upheld the Tax Court and the Supreme Court let stand the Court of Appeals decision.