We have learned to our distress that the last of the international offices of the Internal Revenue Service will be closed before the end of this year. This means that all overseas Americans (and non-Americans residing abroad) who are under the obligation to file a U.S. tax declaration (whether or not they owe taxes) will have to contact the Philadelphia office of the IRS for assistance or use the services of a tax professional abroad.
The news comes at a time when the IRS Commissioner has deplored recent budget cuts which are deteriorating service and leaving many people on the wrong end of an unanswered phone call. The situation affects not only Americans living abroad but also great numbers of non-Americans. It is difficult to agree with the IRS statement reported in Tax Notes Today on January 15, which says it is "forced to make tough choices during this period of fiscal austerity and these closures have relatively little impact on taxpayers and treaty partners."
AARO and FAWCO have written a joint letter of protest to IRS Commissioner Koskinen which can be accessed here. We urge all Americans to contact their Congresspersons (because it is the House that holds the purse strings) to let them know the predicament this puts us in. You can find your Representative’s website at www.house.gov. Be sure to give your U.S. voting address anytime you write to Washington!