U.S. Tax Information for Overseas Americans
Tax information, forms and instructions are easily available through the internet. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not have an office in Turkey and the Embassy cannot provide tax advice. The Embassy does have extremely limited numbers of tax forms and publications available, such as:
1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (also 1040EZ)
Schedules A, B, C, D
Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad
4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
These can be picked up in the consular section during normal hours for U.S. Citizen Services in both Ankara and Istanbul (as posted among both posts' webpages under the "U.S. Citizen Service" tab). Using electronic-filing or downloading forms from the IRS site is strongly encouraged.
For direct overseas inquiries/assistance, please contact the IRS Phildelphia field office's International Tax Hotline at 001-215-516-2000. This is not a toll-free number.
One point to remember for all overseas taxpayers is that the United States taxes its citizens on their worldwide income. Even though they may be eligible to exclude a certain amount of their earned income from their income tax computation, they must file a US tax return in order to claim that exclusion. Also, while certain amounts of their earned income can be excluded for purposes of computing income tax, that income is not excluded for the purposes of computing Self Employment Tax, for those who are self-employed. Turkey has a tax treaty with the United States that can reduce tax payments for US citizens working in Turkey.
You can also find more info below on the following topics:
- Contact the IRS
- How to Obtain Forms
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs)
- Reporting Rates of Exchange
- Tax Scams
Contacting the IRS
Unfortunately, no one at the Embassy in Ankara or at any of our Consulates in Turkey can answer specific tax-related questions. Please contact the IRS office in Philadelphia, PA for assistance.
Phone: 215-516-2000 (M-F, 6am-2am EST)
Fax for Transcripts of Returns: 215-516-2931/1311/1322
IRS Philadelphia Service Center Philadelphia
Please also note that: Tax forms are available by mail from the IRS on-line.
Commonly-used, current year tax forms are also available by FAX from 81-3-3224-5465.
If you wish to order a CD-ROM, please refer to "1796 Publication".
Treasury Reporting Rates Of Exchange - Annual Average Rates
IRS will not post an exchange rate schedule on its web site. Instead, here is the US Treasury rate from Financial Management Service (FMS).
Other options: Oanda provides exchange rates. You input that information and the site automatically gives you the average rate for that period for any currency in the world.
If you go to New York Fed, you can download the daily rates into an Excel spreadsheet and have the spreadsheet compute the average rate.
Any of these rates could be used and accepted. If the IRS were to examine the return and ask how the exchange rates were computed, the individual would need to be able to show how the rate they used was computed. Since any of these are obtained from legitimate sites, they would be accepted.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs)
Social Security Numbers are only available to American Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs, or "Green Card" holders). They are not issued to spouses of American Citizens who are not LPRs or Turkish students going to the U.S. for college.
Instead, the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) was created for use as a tax reporting number for those taxpayers who do not qualify for Social Security Numbers. ITINs are for tax purposes only. The numbers are not valid as personal identification, and do not imply or in any way provide legal status in the U.S. or entitle holders to work in the U.S.
How to Apply for an ITIN
Complete IRS form W-7, available at the IRS Website.
Obtain a certified copy of your passport at the Embassy or one of our Consulates as a notarial service. The cost is US$50. You must apply in person with your passport.
Check the instructions with form W-7 for additional filing requirements, such as the need to include original, completed tax returns. Each applicant will have to show a federal tax purpose for seeking an ITIN, either by attaching a federal tax return to Form W-7 or providing documents that support an exception to the requirement to file a return. Exceptions are listed in the Form W-7 instructions.
Mail the completed form, certified copy of your passport and other documents to:
IRS, Philadelphia Service Center
PO Box 447
Bensalem, PA 19020
Processing time for an ITIN is four to six weeks.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service warn taxpayers of an e-mail-based scheme that attempts to trick taxpayers into revealing personal information such as social security numbers, driver's license information and bank and credit card numbers.
In this ploy, unsuspecting consumers receive an e-mail, claiming they are under investigation for tax fraud and are subject to prosecution. The e-mail informs recipients they can "help" the investigation by providing "real" information and directs them to an official-looking web site, deptreas.org/irs/7634//, where detailed personal information must be provided to dispute the charge.
Identity thieves can use an individual's personal data to take over their financial accounts, run up charges on their credit cards, apply for loans, credit cards or other services in the victim's name and file fraudulent tax returns.
At the request of the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Internet service provider that was hosting the web site has shut the site down. The scheme is being investigated by TIGTA, which addresses threats to federal tax administration. The bogus IRS web page and the e-mail in this instance contained several grammatical errors, rendering them immediately suspect. However, new versions of the scam could surface in the future, including more effectively-written text and a different destination web site.
The IRS does not use e-mail to contact taxpayers about issues related to their accounts. Official taxpayer contact usually includes a letter on IRS stationery in an IRS envelope. IRS letters also contain a contact phone number.
Taxpayers who believe they have received suspect communication are encouraged to contact TIGTA. Additional information on identity theft and other fraud may be found on the following web sites: FTC's Identity Theft Site and TIGTA.
The American Citizen Services are provided between 14:00 and 16:30 pm Monday to Thursday.
You need to make an online appointment before you visit Online Appointment System
You may call (90) (312) 455 5555 or fax us on (90) (312) 466 5684.
Smart TravelerSmart Traveler Enrollment Program with the U.S. Embassy and Consulates
Useful Information along the Turkish-Syrian Border - New! (PDF 62KB)