Foreign Tax Credit
International Tax Gap Series
US taxpayers claimed over $90 billion of foreign tax credits on US individual and corporate tax returns in 2005. Foreign tax credits allow US taxpayers to avoid or reduce double taxation. You may choose to take a deduction for foreign taxes paid instead of choosing a credit. In most cases, it is to your advantage to take foreign income taxes as a tax credit.
Qualifying Foreign Taxes
You can claim a credit only for foreign taxes that are imposed on you by a foreign country or US possession. Generally, only income, war profits and excess profits taxes qualify for the credit.
What Foreign Taxes Qualify For The Foreign Tax Credit?
Generally, the following four tests must be met for any foreign tax to qualify for the credit:
The tax must be imposed on you
You must have paid or accrued the tax
The tax must be the legal and actual foreign tax liability
The tax must be an income tax (or a tax in lieu of an income tax)
How to Claim the Foreign Tax Credit
File Form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit to claim the foreign tax credit if you are an individual, estate or trust, and you paid or accrued certain foreign taxes to a foreign country or U.S. possession. Corporations file Form 1118 to claim a foreign tax credit.
The amount of foreign tax that qualifies is not necessarily the amount of tax withheld by the foreign country. If you are entitled to a reduced rate of foreign tax based on an income tax treaty between the United States and a foreign country, only that reduced tax qualifies for the credit.
A foreign tax credit may not be claimed for taxes on excluded income.
Tools and Links
For more information on claiming a foreign tax credit, the following information is available:
International Information on irs.gov
Publication 514 Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals
Form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit
Form 1118 Foreign Tax Credit - Corporations
The International Tax Gap Series