Four Legal Methods to Avoid Paying US Taxes


The United States has one of the highest tax rates in the world. However, there are legal methods available for individuals and businesses to reduce or avoid their US tax liabilities. These methods are not illegal or unethical methods but are simply tax-saving strategies permitted by the tax code. In this article, we will discuss four legal methods that can help you avoid paying US taxes.

Method 1: Tax deductions and credits

Tax deductions and credits are the most popular ways to lower your US tax liability. Tax deductions are expenses that lower your taxable income, while credits are direct reductions in your tax liability. The most common tax deductions are home mortgage interest, state and local taxes, medical expenses, charitable contributions, and business-related expenses. Tax credits, on the other hand, include the earned income tax credit, child and dependent care credit, and education credits.

FAQs on tax deductions and credits:

1. Can I take tax deductions and credits even if I take the standard deduction?

Yes, you can still take advantage of tax deductions and credits even if you take the standard deduction. You can itemize your deductions to claim any eligible deductions.

2. Are there any limits to the amount of tax deductions and credits I can claim?

Yes, some tax deductions and credits have limits, and some have income phaseouts. For example, the home mortgage interest deduction has a limit of $750,000 for mortgages taken out after December 15, 2017.

Method 2: Tax-deferred accounts

Another way to avoid paying US taxes is by contributing to tax-deferred accounts. These accounts permit individuals to contribute pre-tax dollars and grow their savings tax-free, allowing them to defer paying taxes until retirement. The most common tax-deferred accounts are 401(k), Traditional IRA, and Health Savings Account (HSA).

FAQs on tax-deferred accounts:

1. What are the contribution limits for tax-deferred accounts?

The contribution limits for tax-deferred accounts vary based on the type of account, age, and income level. For example, the contribution limit for 401(k) in 2021 is $19,500 for individuals under 50 and $26,000 for those over 50 years.

2. What are the tax implications of withdrawing money from tax-deferred accounts?

When you withdraw funds from tax-deferred accounts, you will have to pay taxes on the amount withdrawn.

Method 3: Tax exemptions for foreign income

Individuals who work or live abroad may be eligible for tax exemptions for their foreign income. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) allows taxpayers to exclude up to $108,700 from their taxable income.

FAQs on tax exemptions for foreign income:

1. Who is eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion?

Individuals who work or live abroad and meet either the Physical Presence Test or Bona Fide Residence Test are eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

2. Can I claim both tax deductions and foreign income tax exemptions?

Yes, you can claim both tax deductions and foreign income tax exemptions to reduce your US tax liability.

Method 4: Tax-free investments

Tax-free investments are securities that are exempt from federal income tax. The most common tax-free investments are municipal bonds, which are issued by local governments and other municipalities to finance public projects such as schools and roads.

FAQs on tax-free investments:

1. What is the tax rate on tax-free investments?

Tax-free investments are exempt from federal income tax, but they may be subject to state and local taxes.

2. Are tax-free investments suitable for everyone?

No, tax-free investments are not suitable for everyone. Individuals in higher tax brackets may not benefit from tax-free investments since the after-tax returns may be lower than taxable alternatives.


In conclusion, there are various legal ways to avoid paying US taxes, such as tax deductions and credits, tax-deferred accounts, tax exemptions for foreign income, and tax-free investments. Each of these methods has its advantages and limitations, and it is crucial to consult with a tax professional to determine which strategy is suitable for your unique financial situation.


1. Is tax avoidance legal in the US?
Yes, tax avoidance is legal in the US as long as it follows the tax code’s rules and regulations.

2. Are tax havens legal in the US?
Tax havens are not illegal in the US, but using them illegally to evade taxes is illegal.

3. What is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?
Tax avoidance is using legal methods to reduce taxes owed, while tax evasion is illegally avoiding taxes by not reporting income or claiming phony deductions.

4. What is the penalty for tax evasion in the US?
The penalty for tax evasion in the US can result in imprisonment for up to five years and paying a fine of up to $100,000.