The economic benefits of the income exclusion for U.S. citizens working abroad are uncertain, according to a new government report.

The report, from the Government Accountability Office, found that for tax year 2011 (the most recent data available), an estimated 445,000 tax returns claimed the foreign earned income exclusion, or FEIE, which is 0.3 percent of all individual tax returns filed. Approximately 17 percent of FEIE filers also claimed the foreign housing exclusion or deduction. Over half of FEIE filers reported working for a foreign employer, and less than one-third reported working for a U.S. company. The balance reported working as self-employed or for other entities.

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