2011 U.S. Federal Tax Information
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If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien (Green Card Holder), the rules for filing federal income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated taxes are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside. Review Publication 54, Cat. No. 14999E – Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Living Abroad (PDF 1.5 MB) for the most recent information.
Taxpayer Identification Number
Each taxpayer who files, or is claimed as a dependent on, a U.S. tax return will need a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). To obtain a SSN, use form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card (PDF 234 KB). If you, or your spouse, are not eligible for a SSN, you can obtain an ITIN by filing form W-7 along with appropriate documentation. Visit the Social Security International Operations website for additional information.
Children born to a U.S. citizen parent(s) while in Tajikistan first need to process a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) at the Embassy. If the CRBA is approved, the parent(s) completes Form SS-5, submits it to the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit and ACS sends the form to the SSA.
When to File
If you reside overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return until June 15. However, any tax due must be paid by the original return due date (April 15) to avoid interest charges.
If you are unable to file your return by the due date, you can request an additional extension to October 15 by filing Form 4868 (PDF 167 KB) before the return due date. However, any payments made after June 15 would be subject to both interest charges and failure to pay penalties.
Where to File
U.S. citizens or resident aliens who live in a foreign country and use paper Forms 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ to file their own federal tax return, should mail their tax returns to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215, USA
Note: If you use a Tax Professional to prepare your tax returns or you use forms other than Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, visit the IRS website for information about where to file your return.
You must express the amounts you report on your U.S. tax return in U.S. dollars. If you receive all or part of your income or pay some or all of your expenses in foreign currency, you must translate the foreign currency into U.S. dollars. Taxpayers generally use the yearly average exchange rate to report foreign-earned income that was received regularly throughout the year. However, if you had foreign transactions on specific days, you may also use the exchange rates for those days. Yearly average currency exchange rates for most countries can be found at Yearly Average Currency Exchange Rates.
How to Get Tax Help
The IRS Office in Philadelphia provides international tax assistance. This office is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST and can be contacted by:
- Phone: 1 (215) 516-2000 (not toll-free)
- FAX:1 (215) 516-2555
- Email: Email the IRS
- Mail: Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 920
Bensalem, PA 19020