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Hi, Cliff:

Your question's been covered on this board a number of times--try a search using "foreign" or "foreign income".

The short version: if you choose to take the foreign income exclusion (which I believe is $74,000 for 1999) and this leaves you with no taxable income, then you do not qualify for an IRA, Roth or otherwise. To claim an exemption for an IRA, you must have taxable income of at least $2000. If all your income's excluded, it ain't taxable. Ergo, ...

Roy suggests that it's feasible to exclude all but the requisite $2000 of your foreign income, and then claim Roth eligibility for the unexcluded amount. Try reviewing the tax documentation for overseas citizens and decide for yourself.

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