Tax questions while working abroad
Dear all, thanks for the great forums - they've been extremely helpful!
I have few questions regarding filing my Taxes for the past two years (2013 and 2014). I realize I'm late to file but I didn't know I had to file while working abroad.
My wife and I are US citizens. I got a job offer in a foreign country for a foreign company. My package included my salary, a housing allowance (company gives me X amount to go towards against my housing - I can of course add more money and rent a bigger house, or get a smaller house and pocket the rest). in addition to few other benefits (like health insurance...etc, education allowance for kids schools (they reimburse).
I have the following questions please:
1- I plan to file 2013 and 2014 taxes with my wife jointly (we didn't know we had to file).
A) What's the maximum limit for tax exclusion for both of us? (I heard it's around 95k per person).
B) Does my wife have to be working during this period to get her 95k exclusion?)
C) If wife had to work, does it matter how much she makes? (I make slightly over 100k a year).
2- Do I have to pay taxes for the housing allowance? and If I can exclude the housing allowance (around $2000 a month), do I exclude the amount the company pays me, or do I exclude the rent amount (around $1800? for my house rent - i.e. I'm pocketing $200 per month)
3- Do I need to pay taxes for employer's reimbursement amounts for kid's schools?
4- I have a professional babysitter that takes care of our children. I pay her alot - can this be excluded from taxes? if so, how do I provide evidence for it (I don't have receipts, but i can have her sign a letter that attests to her compensation). The babysitter is not a US citizen.
5- I stayed in the foreign country since 2012. in 2013 I did remain there for at least 330 days, however in 2014, I traveled a lot (for work and vacation). part of the travel was a couple of weeks visiting family in the US, and the rest is in other countries. I stayed in the foreign country where I work for around 320 days or so. Am I not going to be excluded for 2014? do I have to pay full taxes for all of my income?
Note: I would appreciate if you guide me as to which form I need to fill out for each one of these. Thanks a lot in advance!