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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/iirc-no-im-far-from-an-expert-in-this-area-29372186.aspx

Subject:  Re: Should I Convert? Date:  6/21/2011  11:02 AM
Author:  trepanne Number:  113556 of 123001

IIRC, no. I'm far from an expert in this area, but I've seen discussions, both here and elsewhere, which concluded that if you elect the exclusion you can't restrict it to less than the full amount allowable.

phil, i am not a pro, and i am operating on recollections from years ago, but i looked at this fairly carefully when i was doing it.

congress has not drafted the tax law in this area to OBLIGE you to minimize your taxable income, merely given you the RIGHT to avoid double-taxation up to a certain limit. that was my reading of the IRC at the time.

from a mechanical reporting standpoint - the way i put this down on the forms was to choose the "physical presence" test rather than the "bona fide resident" test. then i figured out how many days out of 365 would pro-rate my income to the desired amount, and then i wrote that number down in the box for "physically present" on the relevant form. hey presto.