While many expats are able to offset their US income tax each year with deductions and exclusions, sometimes paying Uncle Sam is unavoidable. When you live outside the US, submitting payment can be tricky. Here is a quick look at the steps to pay US income tax to the IRS.
Instructions for expats with a US bank account
If you have a US-based checking account, the easiest way to pay your US income tax is using Direct Pay– http://www.irs.gov/Payments/Direct-Pay
- Click Make Payment
- Your Reason for Payment will usually be “Tax Return or Notice.”
- Apply Payment to “1040, 1040A, 1040EZ.”
- From the Tax Period for Payment dropdown, select the tax year for which the payment is being made. (For example, when filing in 2020, you would choose 2019 as the tax year.) Press Continue.
- To verify your identity, first select a previous tax year. Then, enter your personal information exactly as it appeared on your return from that year. Press Continue.
- On the Payment Information screen, enter the exact whole dollar amount of your payment, the payment date, and all of the requested bank information. Optionally, you may provide an email address to receive payment confirmation.
Instructions for those without a US bank account
If you do not have a US account and must pay by credit card, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card. Please note that this is considered a convenience by the IRS so there are associated fees.
- Choose the credit card processing site. This choice is a personal preference. Since we generally suggest PayUSATax.com, the instructions below are for that site.
- Click Make a Personal Payment
- On the Select Service screen, choose Pay your Form 1040 Current Tax Return. Press Continue.
- On the Payment Details screen, enter your taxpayer information as presented on your return (remember to always use the Primary Taxpayer’s information). Enter the exact whole dollar amount of your payment along with your credit card information. Press Continue.
- Review your information and submit your payment.
- Print or download your payment receipt.
Tip: Make sure you look closely at the address used on your US tax return. Sometimes the address has to be abbreviated in order to fit the forms and you’ll need to enter it exactly as it is on your return.
Still need assistance with paying your US income tax from abroad?
If you are having any issues with paying your US income tax, please contact your accountant or Tabitha, our Customer Champion right away!