U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad - Where and When to File and Pay


Where to File

If any of the following situations apply to you: 

  • You claim the foreign earned income exclusion,
  • You claim the foreign housing exclusion or deduction, or
  • Your tax home is in a foreign country or countries throughout your period of bona fide residence or physical presence, whichever applies.

File your return using the appropriate address for your circumstances:

Requesting a refund, or no check or money order enclosed:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

Enclosing a check or money order:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303

The concept of a "tax home" is discussed in Revenue Ruling 93-86, 1993-2 C.B. 71, 1993-40 I.R.B. 4.

If you are a resident of a US possession, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions, or Individuals Living in U.S. Possessions.

If none of the above situations applies to you, then you should file your U.S. federal individual income tax return at the appropriate address listed in the instructions for Form 1040.

When to File

If you file on the calendar year basis, the due date for filing your return is generally April 15 of the following year. If the due date falls on a weekend, the due date for your return will be the following regular workday.

If you file on a fiscal year basis (a year ending on the last day of any month except December), the due date is 3 months and 15 days after the close of your fiscal year.

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien residing overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., on the regular due date of your return, you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay any amount due without requesting an extension.  For a calendar year return, the automatic 2-month extension is to June 15.

If you are unable to file your return by the automatic 2-month extension date, you can request an additional extension to October 15 by filing Form 4868 before the automatic 2-month extension date. However, any tax due payments made after June 15 will be subject to both interest charges and failure to pay penalties.

In general, the tax shown on your return should be paid by the due date of the return, without regard to any extension of time for filing the return.

CAUTION! A tax return delivered by the U.S. mail or a designated delivery service that is postmarked or dated by the delivery service on or before the due date is considered to have been filed on or before that date. You can use certain private delivery services designated by the IRS to meet the "timely mailing as timely filing/paying" rule for tax returns and payments. See your Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040A, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return instructions for a list of designated delivery services.

Revenue Ruling 2002-23, 2002-18 IRB 811 provides that federal tax returns mailed by taxpayers in foreign countries will be accepted as timely filed if they bear an official postmark dated on or before midnight of the last date prescribed for filing, including any extension of time for such filing.

Payment Options

There are various options for paying your U.S. taxes.

  • EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System).
    This is only available if you have a U.S. bank account.
  • Federal Tax Collection Service (same-day wire transfer).
    Your foreign bank must have a banking relationship with a U.S. bank, although the U.S. bank does not have to be an affiliate or otherwise related to the foreign bank. See Foreign Electronic Payments.
  • Check or money order.
    To pay by check or money order, make your check or money order payable to the “United States Treasury” for the full amount due. Do not send cash. Do not attach the payment to your return.
  • Credit or debit card.
    This option is useful if you do not have a U.S. bank account.  Refer to the Pay Your Taxes by Debit or Credit Card website with details regarding this process and fees.

For more information on these payment methods, go to the Electronic Payment Options Home Page.

References/Related Topics

Note: This page contains 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 after September 24, 1995, visit the Opinions Search page of the United States Tax Court.