Foreign Tax Credit - Special Issues


Making or Changing Your Choice

You can make or change your choice to claim a foreign tax deduction or credit at any time during the period within 10 years from the regular due date for filing the return (without regard to any extension of time to file) for the tax year in which the taxes were actually paid or accrued. You make or change your choice on your tax return (or on an amended return) for the year your choice is to be effective.

Generally, this 10-year period is also the limitation period for refund claims relating to a foreign tax credit. The limitation period for refund claims relating to a deduction of foreign taxes generally must be filed within three years from the filing date of the return, or two years from the date any tax was paid.

Tax Treaties

The United States is a party to tax treaties designed to prevent double taxation of the same income by the United States and the treaty country. Certain treaties allow a U.S. citizen an additional credit for part of the tax imposed by the treaty partner on U.S. source income. It is separate from, and in addition to, your foreign tax credit for foreign taxes paid or accrued on foreign source income.

The treaties that provide for this additional credit include those with Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

If a sourcing rule in an applicable income tax treaty treats U.S. source income as foreign source, and you elect to apply the treaty, you can include that income under the category Certain Income Re-sourced By Treaty. Treat the income as foreign source to the extent required in the treaty. You must compute a separate foreign tax credit limitation for any such income for which you claim benefits under a treaty, using a separate Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit, for each amount of resourced income from a treaty country. See Internal Revenue Code sections 865(h), 904(d)(6), and 904(h)(10) and the regulations under those sections (including Regulation section 1.904-5(m)(7)) for any grouping rules and exceptions.

You can get more information by writing to:

Internal Revenue Service
Philadelphia, PA 19255-0725

Report Required

You may have to report certain information with your return if you claim a foreign tax credit under a treaty provision. For example, if a treaty provision allows you to take a foreign tax credit for a specific tax that is not allowed by the Internal Revenue Code, you must report this information with your return. To report the necessary information, use Form 8833, Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure Under Section 6114 or 7701(b).

If you do not report this information, you may have to pay a penalty of $1,000.

Alternative Minimum Tax

In addition to your regular income tax, you may be liable for the alternative minimum tax. You may be able to claim a foreign tax credit for this tax. However, there are restrictions on how much foreign tax credit taxpayers can apply to the alternative minimum tax. You must prepare separate Forms 1116 to compute the foreign tax credit and foreign tax credit limitation for alternative minimum tax purposes. Refer to Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax-Individuals, and its instructions for a discussion of the alternative minimum tax foreign tax credit.

References/Related Topics

Note: This page may contain one or more references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Treasury Regulations, court cases, or other official tax guidance. References to these legal authorities are included for the convenience of those who would like to read the technical reference material. To access the applicable IRC sections, Treasury Regulations, or other official tax guidance, visit the Tax Code, Regulations, and Official Guidance page. To access any Tax Court case opinions issued on or after May 1, 1986, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.