U.S. Tax Information for U.S. Citizens Overseas
The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa does not have a taxpayer assistance specialist on staff and we are unable to answer questions about tax issues. Persons requiring taxpayer assistance or information should contact the Internal Revenue Service directly.
However, tax information, forms and instructions are easily available through the internet. Taxpayers may download forms and publications, access frequently asked questions, obtain help with tax questions on-line, read about free tax help available from IRS, obtain information on where to file paper tax forms, with or without payment, read about identity theft and tax records, and much more. Links to further tax filing guidance for U.S. taxpayers living abroad are available on the Federal Benefits and Obligations website.
The IRS Publication 54 (Pdf- 1.8Mb), Tax Guide for U.S. Citizen and Resident Aliens Abroad, and Federal Tax Information U.S. Taxpayers Living Abroad, provide overseas filers with international tax tips and the necessary information to prepare the tax return.
Who Must File?
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living or traveling outside the United States, you generally are required to file income tax returns, estate tax returns, and gift tax returns, and pay estimated tax in the same way as those residing in the United States. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.
Income from Abroad is Taxable:
Many United States citizens and resident aliens receive income from foreign sources and you must include this income in your U.S. tax returns. This is true whether or not you receive a Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement, a Form 1099 (Information Return) or the foreign equivalents.
Not reporting income from foreign sources may be a crime.Your income, filing status, and age generally determine whether you must file an income tax return. Generally, you must file a return if your gross income from worldwide sources is at least the amount shown for your filing status in the filling requirement Chapter 1 of Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Publication 54 can be found at https://www.irs.gov/Forms-&-Pubs.
Contacting the IRS
Contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by phone or fax. The International Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Tel: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
Customer Service Phone: 1-215-516-2000
Hours: Mon-Fri 6:00 am-11:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Customer Service Fax: 1-215-516-2555**
Refund Inquiries 1-800-829-1954*
ITINS after 30 days 1-215-516-4846
Exempt Organization Help Desk: 1-877-829-5500*
Tax Offset Program (TOP) Help Desk: 1-800-304-3107*
E-Services Help Desk: 1-512-416-7750
Forms & Publications
Downloadable forms, publications, and answers to your federal tax questions can be found at https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions The website contains a wide variety of topics, including information for international and military taxpayers.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs)
Social Security Numbers are only available to U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs, or “Green Card” holders). They are not issued to spouses of U.S. Citizens who are not LPRs or Honduran students going to the U.S. for college.
The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) was created for use as a tax reporting number for those taxpayers who do not qualify for Social Security Numbers. ITINs are for tax purposes only. The numbers are not valid as personal identification, and do not imply or in any way provide legal status in the U.S. or entitle holders to work in the U.S.
How to Apply for an ITIN
Obtain a certified copy of your passport at the U.S. Embassy as a notarial service. The cost is US$50. You must apply in person with your passport.
You may also apply for an ITIN in-person using the services of an IRS-authorized Certifying Acceptance Agent.
For more information on ITINs please go to the IRS website.
The U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service warn taxpayers of an e-mail-based scheme that attempts to trick taxpayers into submitting personal information such as social security numbers, driver’s license information and bank and credit card numbers.
In this ploy, unsuspecting consumers receive an e-mail, claiming they are under investigation for tax fraud and are subject to prosecution. The e-mail informs recipients they can “help” the investigation by providing “real” information and directs them to an official-looking web site, where detailed personal information must be provided to dispute a charge.
The IRS does not use e-mail to contact taxpayers about issues related to their accounts. Official taxpayer contact usually consists of a letter on IRS stationery in an IRS envelope. IRS letters also contain a contact phone number.
Taxpayers who believe they have received suspect communication are encouraged to contact TIGTA. Additional information on identity theft and other fraud may be found at the following web sites: FTC’s Identity Theft Site and TIGTA.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
Under FATCA, U.S. taxpayers with specified foreign financial assets that exceed certain thresholds must report those assets to the IRS. This reporting is made on Form 8938, which taxpayers attach to their individual federal income tax return.
To help individuals understand how FATCA may impact their filing and reporting responsibilities, we have redesigned the IRS website and made it easier to navigate. The main page for individuals is found at this link: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/foreign-account-tax-compliance-act-fatca
Answers to frequently asked questions about FATCA can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/while-abroad/Joint-Foreign-Account-Tax-Compliance-FATCA-FAQ.html