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If I don’t qualify for the housing deduction, can I still deduct expenses?
Yes. If you do not qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion and subsequently the foreign housing exclusion / deduction, you can view your time abroad as a business trip and deduct expenses accordingly. International per diem rates can be applied and deducted as an itemized deduction.
See our Per Diem FAQs at-
There are rules of course, and the deduction will typically be limited to 50% of the per diem allowance. WCG (formerly Watson CPA Group) will use international per diem rates for meals and incidentals, and actual expenses for lodging. This dramatically reduces the amount of recordkeeping and substantiation that would be required otherwise.