Reaching Out to Americans Abroad
International Tax Gap Series
Globalization continues to affect us all. Businesses are no longer defined by national borders. Individuals and capital move freely from one country to another. It is estimated that more than 7 million Americans reside outside of the United States (not including military personnel). The IRS recognizes that it must find innovative ways to meet the needs of the growing number of U.S. taxpayers who live in other countries, so a special tax page on the IRS web site is available to specifically address the tax issues of U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.
This updated tax page contains a wealth of information on where and when to file, and how to get tax help. It also includes links to many more international tax topics, such as information on reporting foreign bank accounts and how to take advantage of tax provisions like the foreign tax credit and foreign earned income exclusion.
The IRS is eager to meet the needs of all of our customers, both domestically and in the international arena. We continue to look for ways to make taxes less taxing.
For example, U.S. taxpayers here or abroad with tax questions can refer to the International Taxpayers landing page and use the online IRS Tax Map and the International Tax Topic Index to get answers. These online tools assemble or group IRS forms, publications and web pages by subject and provide users with a single entry point to find tax information.
Taxpayers who are looking for return preparers abroad should visit the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.
To help avoid delays with tax refunds, taxpayers living abroad should visit the Helpful Tips for Effectively Receiving a Tax Refund for Taxpayers Living Abroad page.
The IRS also has videos available on the IRS YouTube page of interest to taxpayers abroad, with more to be released in the near future. The videos now available are:
- International Taxpayers--Filing Requirements. Learn about the requirements for filing an individual income tax return including income limits while living abroad.
- International Taxpayers--Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Find out who is eligible, what income qualifies and how to claim the exclusion.
- International Taxpayers--Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). This video helps non-U.S. citizens determine if they need an IRS-issued tax reporting number, known as an ITIN, and how to apply for one.
Upcoming videos will deal with the foreign tax credit, filing status for a U.S. taxpayer married to a foreign spouse and an introduction to the IRS web site for international taxpayers.
The IRS has also added new international tax topics to Tax Trails, the agency’s interactive online tool that helps taxpayers get answers to their general tax questions. The more recent new topics are:
- Am I Required to File a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (for U.S. Citizens/Resident Aliens Living Abroad and Nonresident Aliens)?
- Filing Status of a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien Married to a Nonresident Alien.
In addition, the IRS uses a variety of social media tools to share the latest tax information with interested taxpayers both in the United States and around the world. These include the IRS2Go phone application, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter. A listing of IRS social media tools is available on IRS.gov.
To protect taxpayer privacy, the IRS only uses social media tools to share public information, not to answer personal tax or account questions. It advises taxpayers to never post confidential information, like a Social Security number, on social media sites.
For more information on the tax rules that apply to U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad, please refer to Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.
The International Tax Gap Series