Federal Benefits and Obligations
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
- IRS Reminds Those with Foreign Assets of U.S. Tax Obligations
American Citizens Abroad (ACA) has joined with the State Department Federal Credit Union to provide domestic banking services for U.S. citizens living overseas, which may be of assistance for those with federal benefits or FATCA issues.
New IRS Regulation – Disclosure or Use of Tax Information by Preparers of Returns
Please take note of new regulations giving taxpayers greater control over their personal tax return information. New regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 7216, Disclosure or Use of Tax Information by Preparers of Returns, became effective January 1, 2009. These regulations limit tax return preparers’ use and disclosure of information obtained during the return preparation process to activities directly related to the preparation of the return. The regulations, along with supplemental Revenue Procedure 2008-35, contain the updated rules and requirements relating to disclosure and use of tax return information. These regulations apply to paid and volunteer preparers and the administrative staff that supports them. Failure to comply may result in criminal or civil penalties. See the Section 7216 information Center on IRS.gov for more details. Section 7216 Frequently Asked Questions are available at https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/section-7216-frequently-asked-questions on IRS.gov.
The Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) should be filed by taxpayers with specific types and amounts of foreign financial assets or foreign accounts. It is important for taxpayers to determine whether they are subject to this new requirement because the law imposes significant penalties for failing to comply.
Form 8938, the instructions, regulations implementing this new foreign asset report, and other information to help taxpayers determine if they are required to file Form 8938 (pdf/184kb) is available on the web at: Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets.
U.S. Tax Assistance Information
There is no Internal Revenue Service in Austria.
For immediate assistance from a taxpayer specialist, you can call, fax or email the International Customer Service Site located in Philadelphia. The Service Site is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm EST. The customer service representatives there can be contacted as follows:
Tel.:  267-941-1000267-941-1000 (not toll-free)
Fax:  267-941-1055267-941-1055
E-mail inquiries: Contact your local IRS Office.
All inquiries must be in the English language.
The IRS in Philadelphia can be reached at the following telephone number:
 267-941-1000267-941-1000 (not toll-free).
“The Taxpayer Advocate Service is your voice at the IRS. Our number is in your phone book and on our website at Taxpayer Advocate Service. You can also call us at 787-522-8601. As a taxpayer, you have rights the IRS must respect in its dealings with you. Our tax toolkit at www.TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov can help you understand those rights and how to protect them.”
Reporting Foreign Bank Accounts
The public may be unaware of their obligation to report their foreign bank accounts to the Department of the Treasury. Recent news events have highlighted foreign bank account reporting. While there are many legitimate reasons to own foreign financial accounts, there are also responsibilities that go along with owning such accounts. Foreign account owners must remember that they may have to report their accounts to the government, even if the accounts do not generate any taxable income. The link below provides information for filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account, Form TD F 90-22.1, which is better known as the FBAR form.
For more information regarding reporting foreign bank accounts, please visit: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)
The United States Internal Revenue Service has no official exchange rate and accepts any posted exchange rate that is used consistently.
For exchange rates, please check: Yearly Average Currency Exchange Rates
For additional exchange rates, check the U.S. Treasury website or other commercial sites such as www.oanda.com. The IRS requires that all income be reported in U.S. dollar equivalents. Taxpayers generally use the yearly average exchange rate to report foreign income that was regularly received throughout the year. If you had only a few foreign transactions on particular days, you may prefer to use the exchange rates of those specific days.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is implementing significant changes to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program. If taxpayers have an expired ITIN, not renewed before filing a tax return next year, they might face a refund delay and be ineligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, until they renew the ITIN. More information is available on the ITIN page at IRS.gov.
Who Must File?
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living or traveling outside the United States, you generally are required to file income tax returns, estate tax returns, and gift tax returns, and pay estimated tax in the same way as those residing in the United States. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.
Your income, filing status, and age generally determine whether you must file an income tax return. Generally, you must file a return if your gross income from worldwide sources is at least the amount shown for your filing status in the Filing Requirements table in Chapter 1 of Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.
Tax Forms via the World-Wide-Web:
For local assistance, inquirers may wish to refer to the following private services to U.S. citizens abroad (Please note that the Embassy can take no responsibility for their performance. Clients should inquire about the fee before engaging an adviser.):
In the United States:
Kelly Strachan, EA
The Brunton, Strachan & Khan CPA Firm, Chartered
4710 NW Boca Raton Blvd, Suite 101
Boca Raton FL 33431
Tel: (561) 241-9991
Fax: (561) 241-6332
Mr. Itzhak Cohen CPA
30 East 9th Street Suite 3a
New York, NY 10003
Tel.: (212) 979-8585
Fax: (646) 895 7554
Swiss: 0041 22 534 9696
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Cohen@MyUScpa.com
Marc J. Strohl, CPA
Protax Consulting Services Inc
Seven Penn Plaza, Suite 416
New York, NY 10001
Tel.: (212) 714 1805
Fax: (212) 714 6654
Sherry von Klitzing, M.A.
Business and Marketing Consultant
210 Mill Creek Place
Roswell, GA 30076
Tel.: (770) 696-2311 (office) or (239) 297-2200 (cell phone)
Randall Brody, EA (Enrolled Agent), MBA, CCP
North Las Vegas, NV 89084
Tel: (702) 350-1050
Clinton F. Bateman, CPA
ABBM Group, Ltd LLP
Certified Public Accountants
9575 Katy Freeway, Suite 370
Houston, TX 77024
Tel: (713) 552-9800
Fax: (713) 552-9700
Mr. Dominic C. Ferguson E.A.
Ferguson Consulting International Limited
Tel.: [+49] 30 3136056
Fax: [+49] 30 3136061
U.S. Tel.: [+1] (888) 549-1116 FREE
U.S. Fax: [+1] (775) 205-8478
Ms. Ines A. Voigt
Certified Public Accountant
c/o Wagemann + Partner
Tel.: [+49] 30 8938-8925
Fax: [+49] 30 8938-8999
Tel. [+49] 89 9282-1641
Fax [+49] 089 1802 11991-1641
SONNTAG & PARTNER
Tel: [+49] 89 25544340,
Fax: [+49] 89 25544349
MARK L. SUMMERS, CPA
Tel: [+49] 8821 9664125
Carlos Martin Schwab
Tel: [+49] 8106 4422
Fax: [+49] 8106 898989
Stephen Bechwar, CPA CFP
85356 Freising, Munich
Tel: [+49] 8161 989 6869
US Tax Services
Tel.: [+49] 89 809 59 107
Sanders US Tax Services GmbH
Tel.: [+41] 43 456 26 63
Homepage (German): http://www.sandersustax.de
Homepage (English): http://www.sandersustax.com
Personal taxes are levied on worldwide income for persons who are residents of Austria. For purposes of taxation, any person regardless of citizenship is considered a resident if living in Austria for more than half a year. General information from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance is available online at http://english.bmf.gv.at/Publications.
In general, for non-residents, only income earned in Austria is subject to Austrian taxation.
There is a convention between the Republic of Austria and the United States of America for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, which entered into force February 1, 1998. The text (in English and German) is available at http://ris.bka.gv.at/Dokumente/BgblPdf/1998_6_3/1998_6_3.pdf (pdf/162kb)
More detailed information on taxation in Austria may be obtained directly from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, Abteilung IV/4, Himmelpfortgasse 3, 1010 Vienna.