If you are either a resident or a nonresident alien departing the United States, you will usually have to show that you have complied with the U.S.
income tax laws. You do this by obtaining a tax clearance document, commonly
called a "Sailing Permit" or "Departure Permit" from the IRS.
Some foreign diplomats, employees of foreign governments, students, trainees
and exchange visitors do not need a sailing permit. To find out whether you
belong in this category, refer to Publication 519 (PDF), U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
If you do not have taxable income, or you are a resident alien who is leaving
only temporarily, use Form 2063 (PDF) to apply
for a sailing permit. If you are a resident alien leaving the United States
with no definite plans to return for the year, you will have to complete Form 1040C (PDF), U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax
Return, in order to get a sailing permit. Nonresident aliens who have
any taxable income will also have to complete Form 1040-C to
receive a sailing permit. You must pay all tax shown as due on the Form
1040-C unless you furnish a bond or an employer letter guaranteeing
payment, or the IRS is satisfied that your leaving will not jeopardize collection
of the tax. Any tax you pay counts as a payment on your final return that
you file after the end of your tax year.
Apply for the sailing permit no earlier than 30 days before you plan to
leave. You should apply at least two weeks in advance of your departure. To
get your sailing permit, visit your nearest walk-in IRS office. If you
are married to an alien who is leaving the country with you, both of you must
go to the IRS office. For information on the location of the walk-in
IRS office nearest to you, call 1-800-829-1040.
You must bring with you all the following records and information for the
current year that apply to you:
- A valid passport and your alien registration card or visa,
- Copies of the last two years' income tax returns with proof of payment
of any balances due,
- A statement from each employer showing the wages paid and tax withheld
from January 1st to the date of departure (For this statement you can use
a payroll deduction slip for your last paycheck if it shows this information),
- If you are self-employed, you must bring a profit and loss statement
for the current year to the date of departure,
- Documents showing any gain or loss from the sale of personal property,
including capital assests and merchandise,
- Proof of estimated tax payments for the past year and this year,
- Documents concerning scholarships or fellowship grants,
- Documents indicating that you qualify for any special tax treaty benefits,
- Substantiation of deductions for business expenses and itemized deductions
- Documentation for dependents claimed.
If you have these documents and pay any tax due you should receive your
sailing permit immediately. For more information, refer to Publication
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