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International

International issues for U.S. Citizens and green card holders filing U.S. tax returns


1. Foreign exchange rates.

You must express the amounts you report on your U.S. tax return in U.S. Dollars. Use the exchange rate prevailing when you receive, pay, or accrue the item. However, if you receive income evenly throughout the tax year, you can use the average exchange rate for the year, which you can find at: www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=206089,00.html .

2. Social Security Taxes

The U.S. has entered into agreements with some countries to coordinate social security coverage and the taxation of workers who are employed in those countries. These totalization agreements are in effect with the following countries:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Chile
Czech Republic
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovak Republic
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom

 

The agreements generally make sure that you pay social security taxes to only one country. Generally, you will be subject to social security taxes in the country where you are working. You can get more information on any specific agreement at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/international/
or by contacting:

Social Security Administration

Office of International Programs

P.O. Box 17741

Baltimore, MD 21235-7741

USA

3. Tax treaties

The U.S. has tax treaties or conventions with many countries. If a foreign country with which the U.S. has a treaty imposes a tax on you, you may be entitled to benefits under the treaty, including certain credits, deductions, exemptions and reductions in the rates of tax of those countries.

U.S. treaties contain saving clauses that provide that the treaties do not affect the U.S. taxation of its own citizens and residents. As a result, U.S. citizens and residents generally cannot use the treaty to reduce their U.S. tax liability. However, most treaties provide exceptions to the saving clause that allows certain provisions of the treaty to be claimed by U.S. citizens or residents. It is important to examine the applicable saving clause to determine if an exception applies.

You can obtain the text of most U.S. treaties at www.irs.gov . You can also request the text of treaties from the Department of the Treasury at the following address:

Department of Treasury

Office of Business and Public Liaison

Room 3411

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20220

USA

4. IRS Assistance

If you are outside the United States you can contact the IRS by phone. The International Call Center is operational Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time):

IRS contact number:

Tel: 267-941-1000 (not toll-free)

Fax: 267-941-1055