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Helpful Tips for Effectively Receiving a Tax Refund for Taxpayers Living Abroad

The quickest way to receive your refund is by direct deposit to a checking or savings account, including an individual retirement arrangement. However, you need a U.S. account to request direct deposit. If you do not have a U.S. account, or do not choose to receive your refund via direct deposit, a check will be mailed to the address you provided on your tax return.

To help ensure your refund check is mailed to the correct mailing address, you should carefully review and follow the Name and Address section in the instructions to the corresponding Form 1040 or 1040NR in order to provide a complete and accurate address on your tax return. If you file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, you have the option of providing an alternative mailing address outside the United States for the refund check.

If you move or change the physical address where a paper check will be mailed, make sure you file Form 8822, Change of Address.

To check the status of your refund, go to Where’s My Refund. If the response indicates that your refund checked was mailed, but you do not receive it within 45 days after the mailing date, call the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by phone or fax. The International Call Center is operational Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The telephone number (not toll-free) is 267-941-1000. The fax number (not toll-free) is 267-941-1055.

Nonresident aliens who request a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding, need to allow additional time before contacting the International Call Center. See Nonresident Aliens Filing Form 1040NR for Refund of U.S. Source Income Tax Withheld.

If you are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder) living outside the United States, please register with the State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and provide them with your most current contact information (local address and phone number, email address, etc.) and update them as frequently as necessary. This will help them contact you about the delivery of any refund check that may not include your correct mailing address.

For general information on refunds, see Tax Topic 152, Refund Information, and Publication 2043, IRS Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community (PDF).

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Jan-2016