Internal Revenue Service (U.S. Taxes)

American citizens must report their worldwide income on their federal income tax returns. Living abroad or earning income outside the United States does not relieve a U.S. Citizen of the responsibility for filing a tax return. However, U.S. citizens living and/or working abroad may be entitled to various deductions, exclusions and credits.

For more information on U.S. tax issues, technical tax questions and individual IRS forms please consult the Internal Revenue Service web page.

The Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia Service Center, provides taxpayer assistance for Benin. The Service Center can provide tax forms and publications, can help you with account problems and can assist with the preparation of current and prior year tax returns. You can reach the office at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
11601 Roosevelt Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19154
Ph: (215) 516-2000
Fax: (215) 516-2555

Hours of operation are from 6am-2am Eastern Standard Time. The Philadelphia Service Center services all overseas filers, including military personnel stationed abroad.

The Consular Section in Cotonou cannot answer tax-related questions.  All questions should be addressed directly to the IRS at, http://www.irs.gov/

Information on filing state taxes is available by searching the home page of your respective state.

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. 

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.

o   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.

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.  

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. 

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.

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

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:  267-941-1000 (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.

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.”

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.