Alien Tax Clearance

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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 "Departure Permit" or "Sailing Permit" from the IRS.

Some foreign diplomats, employees of foreign governments, students, trainees and exchange visitors do not need a departure permit. To find out whether you belong in this category, refer to Publication 519, 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 departure 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 1040-C (PDF), U.S. Departing Alien Income Tax Return, in order to get a departure permit. Nonresident aliens who have any taxable income will also have to complete Form 1040-C to receive a departure 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 departure 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 departure 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 800-829-1040, or visit

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' U.S. 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 assets 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 claimed, and
  • Documentation for dependents claimed.
  • Document verifying your date of departure from the United States, such as an airline ticket.
  • Document verifying your U.S. taxpayer identification number, such asa social security card or an IRS issued CP 565 showing your individual taxpayer identification (ITIN) number.

If you have these documents and pay any tax due you should receive your departure permit immediately. For more information, refer to Publication 519.


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