The IRS is implementing significant changes made to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program under the PATH Act of 2015. The new law means that any ITIN not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will no longer be valid as of January 1, 2017 for use on a tax return unless the taxpayer renews the ITIN. In addition, all ITINs issued prior to 2013 will begin to expire this year and taxpayers will need to renew them.
The first pre-2013 ITINs that will expire are those with middle digits of 78 and 79 (Example: 9XX-78-XXXX). The renewal period for these ITINs began October 1, 2016. The IRS began to mail letters to this group of taxpayers in August to inform them of the need to renew their ITINs in order to file a tax return, and explain the renewal steps. The IRS will announce the schedule for expiration and renewal of ITINs that do not have middle digits of 78 and 79 at a future date.
If taxpayers have an expired ITIN, not renewed before filing a tax return next year, they might face a refund delay and be ineligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, until they renew the ITIN. More information is available on the ITIN page at IRS.gov.
Filing Taxes Abroad
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax 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.
When to File
If you reside overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., you are generally 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 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
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien (Green Card Holder), and you live in a foreign country or you are a non resident alien, mail your U.S. tax return to:
- Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center Austin, TX 73301-0215
Estimated tax payments should be mailed with form 1040-ES to:
- Internal Revenue Service P.O. Box 660406 Dallas, TX 75266-0406 USA
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 tax-payer identification number (ITIN). To obtain a SSN, use form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. To get form SS-5, or to find out if you are eligible for a social security card, contact a Social Security Office or visit Social Security International Operations. 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.
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. Exchange rates can be found at OANDA. Yearly average currency exchange rates for most countries can be found at Yearly Average Currency Exchange Rates.