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Frequently Ask Questions

Most Common Questions

I have completed my tax return and I have a balance due. How do I pay the tax liability?

There are various options for paying your U.S. taxes.

  • EFTPS (Electronic Federal Tax Payment System).
    This is only available if you have a U.S. bank account.
  • Federal Tax Application (same-day wire transfer).
    If you do not have a U.S. bank account, ask if your financial institution has a U.S. affiliate that can help you make same-day wire transfers. For more information, visit www.eftps.gov.
  • Check or money order.
    To pay by check or money order, make your check or money order payable to the “United States Treasury” for the full amount due. Do not send cash. Do not attach the payment to your return.
  • Credit or debit card.
    This option is useful if you do not have a U.S. bank account.  Refer to the Pay Your Taxes by Debit or Credit Card website with details regarding this process and fees.

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What is the status of my refund?

You can check the status of any refund you expect as soon as 24 hours after you e-file a return or 4 weeks after you file a paper return. There are several ways to check the status of a refund.


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I just realized that I must file U.S. income tax returns for prior years. How many years back do I have to file?

You must file a federal income tax return for any tax year in which your gross income is equal to or greater than the personal exemption amount and standard deduction combined (per the Form 1040 Instructions for the corresponding tax year). Generally, you need to file returns going back six years. This will depend on the facts and circumstances of your particular situation.


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What is the due date of a U.S. income tax return?

The due date for filing a federal individual income tax return generally is April 15 of each year if your tax year ends December 31st. Your return is considered filed timely if the envelope is properly addressed and postmarked no later than April 15. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day. If you cannot file by the due date of your return, you can request an extension of time to file

However, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, who is either: (1) living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico; or (2) in military or naval services on duty outside of the United States and Puerto Rico on the due date of your return, you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension until June 15 to file your return and pay any tax due. If you use this automatic 2-month extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two situations qualify you for the extension.


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I pay income tax in a foreign country. Do I still have to file a U.S. income tax return even though I do not live in the United States?

You have to file a U.S. income tax return while working and living abroad unless you abandon your green card holder status by filing Form I-407, with the U.S. Citizen & Immigration Service, or you renounce your U.S. citizenship under certain circumstances described in the expatriation tax provisions.


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I’m a U.S. citizen living and working outside of the United States for many years. Do I still need to file a U.S. tax return?

Yes, if you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien living outside the United States, your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you live. However, you may qualify for certain foreign earned income exclusion and/or foreign income tax credits.


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