For further IRS guidance, please visit the Federal Benefits and Obligations page.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Am I required to pay U.S. taxes if I live overseas?
All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit. If you are the dependent of another taxpayer, see the instructions for Form 1040 (PDF 2.9 MB) for more information about whether you must file a return.
2. What is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Housing Deduction and Exclusion?
If you are a U.S. citizen and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to $99,200 of your foreign earned income. In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts. To qualify you must satisfy all three of the following requirements:
- Your tax home must be in a foreign country.
- You must have foreign earned income.
- You must be a bona fide resident of a foreign country for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year or be physically present in a foreign country for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 consecutive months.
The foreign earned income exclusion is voluntary. You can choose the exclusion by completing the appropriate parts of Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ. Once you choose to exclude your foreign earned income that choice remains in effect for that year and all later years unless you revoke it. Once you choose to exclude foreign earned income, you cannot take a foreign income tax credit. You also will not qualify for the earned income credit (PDF 2.9 MB) for the year. Finally, you must figure the tax on your nonexcluded income using the tax rates that would have applied had you not claimed the exclusion. Complete the Foreign Earned Income Tax Worksheet (PDF 268 KB) to figure the amount of tax to enter on Form 1040, line 44.
3. What is the Foreign Income Tax Credit?
You can take either a credit or a deduction for income taxes paid to a foreign country. Foreign income taxes can only be taken as a credit on Form 1040 (PDF 192 KB), line 48, and you may also have to file Form 1116. Foreign income taxes can only be taken as a deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040) (PDF 88 KB).
You can deduct real property taxes you pay that are imposed on you by a foreign country on Schedule A (Form 1040) (PDF 88 KB). You cannot deduct personal property taxes, unless you incurred the expenses in a trade or business or in the production of income.
4. When are my U.S. taxes due?
If you file on a calendar year basis, the due date for filing your return is April 15 of the following year.
If you are living outside the USA on the regular due date of your return, then you are allowed two extra months to file your return without requesting an extension; write “Taxpayer Resident Abroad” at the top of your tax return. For a calendar year return, this extended due date is June 15.
If you cannot file your return within the automatic two-month extension period, you generally can get an additional four months to file your return, for a total of six months by filing paper Form 4686 (PDF 512 KB) or using IRS e-file by the regular due date of your return. For a calendar year return, the extended due date is October 15.
In addition to the six-month extension, taxpayers who are out of the country can request a discretionary two-month additional extension by sending a letter explaining the reasons for the extension to:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0045
You will not receive any notification from the IRS unless your request is denied. For a calendar year return, the extended due date is December 15.
If you are outside the USA and meet certain requirements, you may be able to get a longer extension by filing Form 2350 (PDF 504 KB) by the due date for filing your return.
Important: Even if you are allowed an extension, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return.
5. In what currency do I report my foreign income and expenses on my U.S. tax return?
You must express the amounts you report on your U.S. tax return in U.S. dollars. If you receive all/part of your income or pay some/all of your expenses in foreign currency, you must translate the foreign currency into U.S. dollars. To report foreign-earned income that was received regularly throughout the year, taxpayers generally use the yearly average. To report foreign transactions on specific days, taxpayers may use the published exchange rates for those days.
6. How do I account for my non-U.S. citizen spouse?
If you are a U.S. citizen who is married to a non-U.S. citizen, you can choose to treat your spouse as a U.S. resident for income tax purposes. If you make this choice, you must file a joint income tax return for the year you make the choice and for all later years unless you end the choice.
To treat your non-U.S. citizen spouse as a U.S. resident for income tax purposes:
- Your spouse must have a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). If your spouse is eligible for a SSN (PDF 128 KB), complete Form SS-5 (PDF 132 KB) and submit it to the Social Security Regional Benefits office in Manila. ACS Bangkok can make certified copies of necessary documents for you by appointment and forward the application packet to SSA Manila for you. If your spouse is not eligible for a SSN, request an ITIN by filing form W-7 (PDF 216 KB) with the IRS in accordance with W-7 instructions (PDF 216 KB). ACS Phnom Penh can make certified copies of necessary documents for you by appointment for a $50 fee per document.
- You must attach a statement, signed by both spouses, to your joint return for the first tax year for which the choice applies. See the Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad Chapter 1, Page 7 for more information about the required content of the letter.
7. What is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and does it affect me?
FATCA is an important development in U.S. efforts to combat tax evasion by U.S. persons holding accounts and other financial assets offshore. Under FATCA, certain U.S. taxpayers holding financial assets outside the United States must report those assets to the IRS on Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets), which must be attached to the taxpayer’s annual income tax return. The reporting threshold is higher for certain individuals, including married taxpayers filing a joint annual income tax return and certain taxpayers living in a foreign country. If you are single or file separately from your spouse, you must submit a Form 8938 if you have more than $200,000 of specified foreign financial assets at the end of the year and you live abroad; or more than $50,000 if you live in the United States. If you file jointly with your spouse, these thresholds double. You are considered to live abroad if you are a U.S. citizen whose tax home is in a foreign country and you have been present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 days out of a consecutive 12-month period. It is important to determine if you are subject to this new requirement because there are serious penalties for not reporting these financial assets.
This FATCA requirement is in addition to the long-standing requirement to report foreign financial accounts on FinCEN Form 114 (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts).
8. How do I file my U.S. tax return from Cambodia?
Electronically: IRS e-file (electronic filing) is the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way to file your income tax electronically. Even returns with a foreign address can be e-filed. You can e-file from your personal computer or through a tax professional. On Paper: If you claim the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion/deduction, or live in a foreign country, do not file your return with the service center listed for your home state.
If you are not enclosing a check or money order, file your return with:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215 USA
If you are enclosing a check or money order, file your return with:
Internal Revenue Service Center
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303 USA
Please mail returns via certified or registered mail or an IRS-approved Private Delivery Service. If you mail a return from outside the United States, the date of filing is the postmark date. However, if you mail a payment, separately or with your return, your payment is not considered received until the date of actual receipt.
Please be sure to include your complete and correct mailing address on your tax return so the IRS can contact you with questions and/or mail you a check for any tax refund that you may be due.
Please DO NOT use the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh mailing address on your tax forms. We are not a U.S. mail facility, and do not have the capacity to store or forward mail for you. Items received by the IRS will be returned to sender.
9. How can I pay my U.S. taxes from Cambodia?
- Summary of all payment options
- Transfer money directly from your bank account
- Pay by debit or credit card
- Use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
- Pay by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (e-filing only)
- Make a same-day wire federal tax payment
- Send a check or money order to Internal Revenue Service Center, P.O. Box 1303, Charlotte, NC 28201-1303
10. Where do I get tax forms and instructions?
Download forms at www.irs.gov/formspubs.
Order forms by calling 1-800-829-3676 or visiting www.irs.gov/orderforms.
Limited quantities of some forms are available in the American Citizen Services (ACS) section of the U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh.
- Form 1040 (Individual Income Tax Return)
- Form 1040 EZ (Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents)
- Form W-7 (Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
- Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit)
- Form 2350 (Application for Extension of Time To File U.S. Income Tax Return)
- Form 2555 (Foreign Earned Income)
- Form 2555 EZ (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion)
- Form 4686 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) (PDF 512 KB)
- Form 673 (Statement for Claiming Exemption From Withholding on Foreign Earned Income Eligible for the Exclusions Provided by Section 911)
- Form 8802, Application for United States Residency Certification – Additional Certification Requests
- Form 8822 (Change of Address)
- Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets)
If you are a taxpayer living abroad, file this form if you are filing a joint return and the value of your specified foreign asset is more than $400,000 on the last day of the tax year or more than $600,000 at any time during the year OR if you are filing a return other than a joint return and the total value of your specified foreign assets is more than $200,000 on the last day of the tax year or more than $300,000 at any time during the year.
File this form if you had any financial interest in, or signature or other authority over a bank, securities, or other financial account in a foreign country with an aggregate value of more than $10,000 at any time during the calendar year.
- Form 14653 (Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures)
11. Who can I contact if I have questions or need help with my U.S. tax return?
Request help from the IRS
- Ask your question online
- Visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About International Individual Tax Matters
- Call 267-941-1000 Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 11 PM EST (not toll-free and English-speaking only)
- Fax your question to 267-941-1055
- Send a letter to: Internal Revenue Service, International Accounts, Philadelphia, PA 19255-0725
- Call the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 787-522-8601
12. Where can I get more information?
- IRS Publication 54: Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad (2014) (PDF 2.5 MB)
- IRS Publication 519: U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens
- Federal Benefits and Obligations
- U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad
- U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad – Filing Requirements
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About International Individual Tax Matters
- FACTA Information for Individuals
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
- Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)
- Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
- Social Security Tax Consequences of Working Abroad
- State Taxes (Federation of Tax Administrators website)