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Rev. date: 12/04/2013

Alien Tax Clearance

Tax Topic 858
If you are 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 before you depart. You do this by obtaining from the IRS a tax clearance document, commonly called a departure permit or sailing permit.
The following six categories of people are not required to obtain a departure or sailing permit:
For additional information about these excluded categories, refer to Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, and Departing Alien Clearance on
If you do not fall into one of the above categories, you must obtain a departure or sailing permit. To obtain a permit, file the applicable Form 1040-C or Form 2063 with your local IRS office before you leave the United States.

Form 2063

This short form asks for certain information but does not include a tax computation. The following departing aliens can get their departure or sailing permits by filing Form 2063:
However, if the IRS has information indicating that the alien is leaving to avoid paying their income tax, they must file a Form 1040-C.
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 departure or sailing permit on Form 2063.

Form 1040-C

If you must get a departure or sailing permit and you do not qualify to file Form 2063, you must file Form 1040-C.
Ordinarily, you must report on Form 1040-C and pay the tax on all income received or reasonably expected to be received during the tax year up to and including the date of departure. When you pay any tax shown as due on the Form 1040-C, file all returns and pay all tax due for previous years, you will receive a departure or sailing permit. However, the IRS may permit you to furnish a bond guaranteeing payment instead of paying the taxes for certain years.

When and How to Apply for a Departure or Sailing Permit

You must obtain your departure or sailing permit before you leave the United States. You should apply for the departure or sailing permit no earlier than 30 days before you plan to leave but at least two weeks in advance of your departure. To get your departure permit, visit your nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (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 nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center 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:
If you have these documents and pay any tax due you should receive your departure or sailing permit immediately. For additional rules and information, refer to Publication 519.