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America may be the only country in the world that requires its citizens to pay domestic income taxes while they reside abroad. At least, Americans living abroad must file an annual income tax return; whether or not they must pay depends on in which country they reside, whether they pay income taxes in that country – and how much – and what their income and tax status may be as individuals. In “Tips for Americans Residing Abroad” I found the following:

FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS MATTERS

U.S. Taxes

U.S. citizens must report their worldwide income on their Federal income tax returns. Living or earning income outside the United States does not relieve a U.S. citizen of responsibility for filing tax returns. However, U.S. citizens living and/or working abroad may be entitled to various deductions, exclusions, and credits under U.S. tax laws, as well as under international tax treaties and conventions between the United States and a number of foreign countries. Consult the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for further information.

For information on taxes and locations of IRS offices overseas, contact any office of the IRS or write to the Forms Distribution Center, Post Office Box 25866, Richmond, Virginia 23289. That office also has copies of Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad; Publication 901, U.S. Tax Treaties; Publication 514, Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals and Publication 520, Scholarships and Fellowships. The IRS has also put together a package of forms and instructions (Publication 776) for U.S. citizens living abroad. The package is also available through to the Forms Distribution Center. During the filing period, you can usually obtain the necessary Federal income tax forms from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

If you have access to a personal computer and a modem, you can get forms and publications electronically from the IRS. The forms and publications are available through IRIS, the Internal Revenue Information Services on FedWorld, a government bulletin board. On the Internet, you can telnet to fedworld.gov. or for file transfer protocol services, connect to ftp.fedworld.gov. If you are using the Internet’s World Wide Web, connect to http://www.ustreas.gov.

I plan to visit some of those sites, learn what I can that is specific to Dominica, and report it to Dominica Weekly. So lookout for my follow-up post on U.S Taxes for Americans living in Dominica.

This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner

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