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U.S Taxes (IRS)
 

U.S. Taxation Information

The IRS does not maintain a permanent presence in New Zealand and Consular staff are not able to answer inquiries regarding preparation and filing U.S. taxes. Therefore, we must direct all inquiries related to taxation to the IRS.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided the following guidance for U.S. citizens abroad preparing for the 2015 tax filing season.  This IRS guidance is posted under Federal Benefits and Obligations on www.travel.state.gov.

Who Must File?

All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual income tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit.

When is the 2014 Federal Tax Return Due?

Due date for Form 1040:  April 15, 2015.

Extensions:

  • An automatic extension to June 15, 2015, is granted for taxpayers living outside the United States and Puerto Rico.  No form is required; write "Taxpayer Resident Abroad" at the top of your tax return.
    • Caution:  This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment.  If you owe any taxes, you're required to pay by April 15, 2015.  Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment is made after this date.
    • To request an additional extension to October 15, 2015, use Form 4868.
      • Caution:  This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment.  If you owe any taxes, you're required to pay by April 15, 2015.  Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment make after this date.
      • Other extensions may be available on IRS.gov.

Can I Mail My Return and Payment?

You can mail your tax return and payment using the postal service or approved private delivery services.  A list of approved delivery services is available on IRS.gov.  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. 

Can I Electronically File My Return?

You can prepare and e-file your income tax return, in many cases for free.  Participating software companies make their products available through the IRS.  E-File options are listed on IRS.gov.

How do I obtain IRS forms?

What Forms May I Need?

 
1040, U.S Individual Income Tax Return

- Instructions to Form 1040

- 1116, Foreign Tax Credit

- 2013 Instructions to Form 1116 – 2014 instructions will be available soon, please check on www.irs.gov

2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return (for U.S. citizens and residents abroad)

- 2350 in Spanish

2555, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

- Instructions to Form 2555

2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion


- Instructions to Form 2555-EZ

4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

- 4868 in Spanish

8802, Application for United States Residency Certificate

- Instructions to Form 8802

8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets

- Instructions to Form 8938

14653, Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures

How Do I Pay My Taxes?

You must pay your taxes in U.S. dollars.

  • Direct pay.  You can pay online with a direct transfer from your U.S. bank account using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or by a U.S. debit or credit card.  You can also pay by phone using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by a U.S. debit or credit card.
  • Foreign wire transfers.  If you have a U.S. bank account, you can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.  If you do not have a U.S. bank account, ask whether your financial institution has a U.S. affiliate that can help you make same-day wire transfers.
  • Foreign electronic paymentsInternational taxpayers who do not have a U.S. bank account may transfer funds from their foreign bank account directly to the IRS for payment of their tax liabilities.

Other Reporting?

You also may have to file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), by June 30, 2015.

Does the IRS Provide Help in Other Languages?

The IRS provides tax information in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  Go to www.irs.gov and use the drop down box under "Languages" on the upper right corner to select your language.

Where Can I Get Help?

Contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by phone or fax.  The International Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Tel:  267-941-1000267-941-1000 (not toll-free)

Fax:  267-941-1055

You may also contact the IRS office in London, Paris, or Frankfurt.  For addresses and telephone numbers, contact my local office internationally.

I Received a Notice from the IRS – What Do I Do?

If you receive a notice from the IRS and need to contact the IRS, call the number listed on the notice or the International Taxpayer Service Call Center (see above).

Where Can I Get More Information?

For information on the IRS website about international taxpayers, see this page.

For general information about international taxpayers, see Publication 54, "Taxation of U.S. Citizens and Residents Abroad."

For information on the Affordable Care Act and taxpayers outside the United States, see Publication 5187, "Health Care Law."

I Haven't Filed All My Tax Returns – What Can I Do?

If you have not filed all the returns required of you and want to catch up on your filing obligations, see this announcement:  IRS makes changes to offshore-programs.

Could you please advise the tax exchange rate?

For the year ended 31 December 2014 the exchange rate was:

  • USD/NZD - 1.2055
  • NZD/USD- .8301

For the year ended 31 December 2013 the exchange rate was:

  • USD/NZD - 1.2195
  • NZD/USD- .8200

For the year ended 31 December 2012 the exchange rate was:

  • USD/NZD - 1.2349
  • NZD/USD- .8099

Are there U.S. tax specialists in New Zealand?

U.S. tax specialists in New Zealand

What is an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)? How do I apply for it?

An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is used by persons who are not U.S. citizens/nationals or permanent residents (these people have Social Security numbers).

You may apply for an ITIN by completing a W-7 form and attaching a certified copy of your identification, e.g. current passport. 

If you still have tax questions, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Service Center in Philadelphia on +1 215 516 2000+1 215 516 2000 . The Service Center is open 20 hours a day, from 6.00am to 2.00am (U.S. Eastern standard time).

Is there a tax treaty/convention between New Zealand and the United States? 

IRS Free File

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) advises that U.S. citizens and resident aliens living outside the United States can use IRS Free File to prepare and file their federal tax returns electronically.

IRS Free File is brand-name software that is offered exclusively at IRS.gov, through a partnership with the tax software industry.

There are five companies that accept foreign addresses.  Taxpayers should review the list of tax forms supported by the company to ensure it meets their needs, especially Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit, and/or Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income.

To be eligible, taxpayers' adjusted gross income in 2010 must be $58,000 or less.  Some overseas taxpayers may exclude $91,500 of their 2010 foreign earnings, which would make more people eligible for IRS Free File.

Free File software generally asks questions and taxpayers supply the answers.  The software completes the proper tax forms, does the math, and allows for free electronic filing through IRS e-file.  By filing electronically, taxpayers due refunds and who have U.S. bank accounts can opt for direct deposit and get their refunds in as few as 10 days.

To get started with IRS Free File, go to www.irs.gov/freefile and select "Pick a Free File Company."

Taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) over $58,000 can efile their returns by purchasing online software.  Check the software provider's information to ensure that it can accommodate a foreign address.

Combating Fraud

  • Combating Fraud, Waste and Abuse in Federal Tax Administration

    The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is responsible for oversight of IRS activities and for maintaining integrity in the U.S. Federal tax system.  Fraud, waste, and abuse in Federal tax administration are unfair to all U.S. taxpayers and can take a variety of forms.  TIGTA’s oversight includes targeted audits, programmatic inspections and evaluations, and both criminal and administrative investigations of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.  Examples include:

    • Attempts by taxpayers to bribe IRS personnel;
    • Assaults or threats by taxpayers against IRS employees or facilities;
    • Theft of IRS tax remittances;
    • Impersonation of the IRS organization or IRS personnel in schemes involving the Internet or the mail to obtain personal financial information;
    • IRS employees who misuse their position for personal gain;
    • Outside contractors defrauding the IRS through false claims, deceptive contract methods, and other fraud;
    • Circumstances that could impede or hinder compliance with Federal tax laws and regulations; and,
    • Apparent abuses of taxpayer protection and rights.

    Please report any information that you may have related to potential fraud, waste, and abuse to the TIGTA Hotline at http://www.treasury.gov.

    More information can be found at:

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/living/living_1234.html

Consulate General Auckland

  • The Consulate General in Auckland provides all U.S. consular services in New Zealand:  The Embassy in Wellington is unable to provide consular services.