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Tax Trails - Am I Required to File a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (for U.S. Citizens/Resident Aliens Living Abroad and Nonresident Aliens)?

Unless you have expatriated (relinquished your citizenship with the Department of State), you're a U.S. citizen and required to file a Federal income tax return to report your worldwide income whether or not you live in the United States or abroad. The rules for filing individual income tax returns (as well as estate and gift tax returns and for paying estimated tax) are similar, although there are some procedural differences, and your tax liability may be computed differently if you're a resident of a tax jurisdiction that has entered into a tax treaty with the United States.

Note: Go to Do I Need to File a Tax Return? to determine if you have a filing requirement and see Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, for additional information. Refer to the "Tax Treaty Benefits" chapter of Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for information regarding treaty benefits available to U.S. citizens and green card holders residing in a country that has entered into a tax treaty with the United States.

Note: If you're a bona fide resident of one of the U.S territories or possessions (Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa), you may have different filing requirements. Please see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U.S. Possessions, for additional information.


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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 01-Jan-2017