It just seems to be human nature that we leave things until the last minute – especially when it comes to taxes !
If you are American then the tax deadline – remember April 15 – is looming !!
As an American citizen your have to report your income from all sources domestic or foreign whether you live in the great U.S. of A. or abroad. The same basic rules apply regardless of your place of domicile.
Collection of worldwide income is the goal of most governments these days. If you are an American citizen, an alien resident or just a plain resident foreigner you are required by law to submit your income from all securities accounts, foreign banks, foreign trusts and foreign rental incomes !
If you have foreign bank accounts you may need to file the following – http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-FBAR
Review Form 8938 – Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets.
There is a possibility that you may need to include Schedule B – Interest and Ordinary Dividends.
If you are in South America, there isn’t much help directly from the IRS. If you are in Germany (Frankfurt), England (London), France (Paris) or China (Beijing) there are tax offices located in theses countries.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer here is a guide to assist you – http://www.irs.gov/uac/Publication-54,-Tax-Guide-for-U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad-1
An important point to remember. Uncle Sam isn’t likely to give you any breaks so make certain that you take advantage of all credits and deductions that you are legally entitled to have.
For example you may be eligible for a tax credit or a deduction if you have paid taxes in another country. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Tax-Credit
The choice may be yours – http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Tax-Credit—Choosing-To-Take-Credit-or-Deduction
If you may qualify for a foreign earned income exclusion which means you might not have to pay tax on 97,600 USD of foreign income – http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Foreign-Earned-Income-Exclusion-1 . The required forms are listed at the bottom of the page of this link.
If you need some additional help please visit Tax Law Questions or call the toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040 (Individuals) or 1-800-829-4933 (Business).
International Customer Service: 267-941-1000 (Not a toll-free number)
Don’t forget – If you own an investment abroad you may very well be able to deduct travel expenses to visit that investment.