You can find comprehensive information on U.S. taxes for international taxpayers on the website of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Quick links for obtaining information:
- U.S. citizens Abroad
- Members of the U.S. Military
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Application:
- Tax Forms and Publications
- Electronic Payment Website
- Refund Information
IMPORTANT: The IRS is implementing significant changes made to the ITIN program under the PATH Act of 2015. The new law means that any ITIN not used on a federal tax return at least once in the last three years will no longer be valid as of January 1, 2017 for use on a tax return unless the taxpayer renews the ITIN. In addition, all ITINs issued prior to 2013 will begin to expire this year and taxpayers will need to renew them.
The first pre-2013 ITINs that will expire are those with middle digits of 78 and 79 (Example: 9XX-78-XXXX). The renewal period for these ITINs began October 1, 2016. The IRS began to mail letters to this group of taxpayers in August to inform them of the need to renew their ITINs in order to file a tax return, and explain the renewal steps. The IRS will announce the schedule for expiration and renewal of ITINs that do not have middle digits of 78 and 79 at a future date.
If taxpayers have an expired ITIN, not renewed before filing a tax return next year, they might face a refund delay and be ineligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, until they renew the ITIN. More information is available on the ITIN page at IRS.gov.
Special Resources for Taxpayers
- Individuals making $49,000 or less can use the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for free tax preparation and, in many cases, free electronic filing.
- Individuals aged 60 and older can take advantage of free tax counseling and basic income tax preparation through Tax Counseling for the Elderly.
- Everyone can use tools provided by the IRS Free File program to prepare a federal tax return.
Frequently Asked Questions about U.S. Income Tax
I am a Latvian who will be sent by my company to work in the United States. What are my U.S. tax obligations?
I am a Latvian citizen who has investments in U.S. stocks and mutual funds. A U.S. tax of 15% was withheld from my dividend payments. do I have to file a U.S. tax return and will the 15% be refunded?
No to both questions. U.S. dividend income paid to Latvian citizens is subject to a 15% withholding tax. If that amount has been withheld, you do not have to file a U.S. return as the correct tax liability has been paid. By the same reasoning, no refund is due.
For more information on taxes for foreigners, please consult the IRS publications (Nr. 513, 515, 519).
I am not an American and live outside the U.S., but I have U.S. investment income. Do I need a social security number?
No, not at present, but you must send Form W-8BEN “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding” to the financial institution which holds your investment to notify them of your residency and citizenship so that they will withhold the correct U.S. income tax. If an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required and you do not have one, you must fill out the Form W-7 in order to receive one.
I purchased goods in the United States. Can I get the sales tax refunded?
There is no national sales tax system, such as Value Added Tax – VAT (Įltalįnos Forgalmi Adó) in the United States. Sales taxes are assessed by the individual states and cities, and as such each has complete autonomy in administering its taxes. Most states have no provision for sales tax refunds. There is no office in the U.S. Embassy which can provide any assistance in this matter.
We have been advised that Louisiana is the only state which provides a refund of sales tax for international visitors on goods purchased at participating stores.
You may contact the State of Louisiana at:
Louisiana Tax Free shopping
P.O. Box 20125
New Orleans, LA 70141
Telephone: +1 504 467-0723
Fax: +1 504 568-6670