If you do not fall into one of the categories listed under Aliens Not Required To Obtain Sailing or Departure Permits, you must obtain a
sailing or departure permit. To obtain a permit, file Form 1040-C or Form 2063 (whichever applies) with your local IRS office before you leave
the United States. See Forms To File, later. You must also pay all the tax shown as due on Form 1040-C and any taxes due for past
years. See Paying Taxes and Obtaining Refunds, later.
If you try to leave the United States without a sailing or departure permit, and cannot show that you qualify to leave without it, you may be
subject to an income tax examination by an IRS employee at the point of departure. You must then complete the necessary income tax returns and
statements and, ordinarily, pay any taxes due.
Getting a Sailing
or Departure Permit
The following discussion covers when and where to get your sailing permit.
Where to get a sailing or departure permit.
It is advisable for aliens who have been working in the United States to get the permit from an IRS office in the area of their employment, but it
also can be obtained from an IRS office in the area of their departure.
When to get a sailing or departure permit.
You should get your sailing or departure permit at least 2 weeks before you plan to leave. You cannot apply earlier than 30 days before your
planned departure date. Do not wait until the last minute in case there are unexpected problems.
Papers to submit.
Getting your sailing or departure permit will go faster if you bring to the IRS office papers and documents related to your income and your stay in
the United States. Bring the following records with you if they apply.
- Your passport and alien registration card or visa.
- Copies of your U.S. income tax returns filed for the past 2 years. If you were in the United States for less than 2 years, bring the income
tax returns you filed for that period.
- Receipts for income taxes paid on these returns.
- Receipts, bank records, canceled checks, and other documents that prove your deductions, business expenses, and dependents claimed on your
- A statement from each employer showing wages paid and tax withheld from January 1 of the current year to the date of departure if you were
an employee. If you were self-employed, you must bring a statement of income and expenses up to the date you plan to leave.
- Proof of estimated tax payments for the past year and this year.
- Documents showing any gain or loss from the sale of personal property, including capital assets and merchandise.
- Documents relating to scholarship or fellowship grants including verification of the grantor, source, and purpose of the grant.
- Documents indicating you qualify for any special tax treaty benefits claimed.
Forms To File
If you must get a sailing or departure permit, you must file Form 2063 or Form 1040-C. Employees in the IRS office can assist in filing these
forms. Both forms have a "certificate of compliance" section. When the certificate of compliance is signed by an agent of the Field Assistance
Area Director, it certifies that your U.S. tax obligations have been satisfied according to available information. Your Form 1040-C copy of the
signed certificate, or the one detached from Form 2063, is your sailing or departure permit.
This is a short form that asks for certain information but does not include a tax computation. The following departing aliens can get their sailing
or departure permits by filing Form 2063.
- Aliens, whether resident or nonresident, who have had no taxable income for the tax year up to and including the date of departure and for
the preceding year, if the period for filing the income tax return for that year has not expired.
- Resident aliens who have received taxable income during the tax year or preceding year and whose departure will not hinder the collection of
any tax. However, if the IRS has information indicating that the aliens are leaving to avoid paying their income tax, they must file a Form
Aliens in either of these categories who have not filed an income tax return or paid income tax for any tax year must file the return and pay the
income tax before they can be issued a sailing or departure permit on Form 2063.
The sailing or departure permit detached from Form 2063 can be used for all departures during the current year. However, the IRS may cancel the
sailing or departure permit for any later departure if it believes the collection of income tax is jeopardized by that later departure.
If you must get a sailing or departure permit and you do not qualify to file Form 2063, you must file Form 1040-C.
Ordinarily, all income received or reasonably expected to be received during the tax year up to and including the date of departure must be
reported on Form 1040-C and the tax on it must be paid. When you pay any tax shown as due on the Form 1040-C, and you file all returns and
pay all tax due for previous years, you will receive a sailing or departure permit. However, the IRS may permit you to furnish a bond or an employer
letter guaranteeing payment instead of paying the taxes for certain years. See Bond or Employer Letter To Ensure Payment, discussed later.
The sailing or departure permit issued under the conditions in this paragraph is only for the specific departure for which it is issued.
If you submit an employer letter guaranteeing payment of tax with your Form 1040-C, you do not need to fill out the form in detail. Just fill
out the identifying information on the form, check the "Yes" box on line A, sign it, and attach the letter. The IRS office where you submit the
form will then issue your sailing or departure permit.
Returning to the United States.
If you furnish the IRS with information showing, to the satisfaction of the IRS, that you intend to return to the United States and that your
departure does not jeopardize the collection of income tax, you can get a sailing or departure permit by filing Form 1040-C without having to
pay the tax shown on it. You must, however, file all income tax returns that have not yet been filed as required, and pay all income tax that is due
on these returns.
Your Form 1040-C must include all income received and reasonably expected to be received during the entire year of departure. The sailing or
departure permit issued with this Form 1040-C can be used for all departures during the current year. However, the Service may cancel the
sailing or departure permit for any later departure if the payment of income tax appears to be in jeopardy.
Joint return on Form 1040-C.
Departing husbands and wives who are nonresident aliens cannot file joint returns. However, if both spouses are resident aliens, they can file a
joint return on Form 1040-C if:
- Both spouses can reasonably be expected to qualify to file a joint return at the normal close of their tax year, and
- The tax years of the spouses end at the same time.
Paying Taxes and
Except when a bond or an employer letter is furnished, or the IRS is satisfied that your departure does not jeopardize the collection of income
tax, you must pay all tax shown as due on the Form 1040-C at the time of filing it. You must also pay any taxes due for past years. If the tax
computation on Form 1040-C results in an overpayment, there is no tax to pay at the time you file that return. However, the IRS cannot provide a
refund at the time of departure. If you are due a refund, you must file either Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ at the end of the tax year.
Bond or Employer
Letter To Ensure
Usually, you must pay the tax shown as due on Form 1040-C when you file it. However, if you pay all taxes due that you owe for prior years,
you can furnish a bond or an employer letter guaranteeing payment instead of paying the income taxes shown as due on the Form 1040-C or the tax
return for the preceding year if the period for filing that return has not expired.
The bond must equal the tax due plus interest to the date of payment as figured by the IRS. Information about the form of bond and security on it
can be obtained from your IRS office.
Filing Annual U.S.
Income Tax Returns
Form 1040-C is not an annual U.S. income tax return. If an income tax return is required by law, that return must be filed even though a Form
1040-C has already been filed. Chapters 5 and 7 discuss filing an annual U.S. income tax return. The tax paid with Form 1040-C should be
taken as a credit against the tax liability for the entire tax year on your annual U.S. income tax return.