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I lived in two places last year, one inside the US and one outside the US (where I live now), but I wouldn't use either as a permanent mailing address.

I've been looking for clarification about what is the most appropriate address to use and why, and I'm left with some questions:

  • Is this only for IRS correspondence?
  • It would obviously be used to determine state taxes, is it also used for other local distributions of tax revenue?
  • Is there any other significance of the home address?

Thanks!

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The address on your tax return is where they will send correspondence, including refund checks.

If you don't want to use either your old U.S. address or your current foreign address as a permanent mailing address, you might want to use a mailing service, or a friend/family member that you trust.

Occasionally the IRS or a state will question your residency based on the address used, though the IRS might figure it out if you file Form 2555 to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Some states will wonder why you're not filing resident returns if the mailing address for you is in that state. If that happens, (1) make sure it's not a domicile state and you really aren't a resident, and (2) send them a letter saying that you are living overseas and that the address they have is only your mailing address, and give them your foreign residence address.

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If it is similar to Australian Tax law, then I would say it would be mainly for correspondence, for sending you mail and in case they need to contact you regarding your taxes. Correct me if I am wrong, but State taxes would only apply if you owned the place not renting it.

  • 2
    I think you may be wrong on the state taxes. State taxes generally apply if you earn income in that state. Owning a home there would only incur property taxes which aren't done through an income tax form. – JohnFx Jan 20 '12 at 17:31
  • Thanks @Victor, I appreciate the help, but I'm hoping for an answer that clarifies more. The first two questions, correspondence (mail) and state taxes are things that I can already guess it is for. – BenjaminGolder Jan 20 '12 at 22:16
  • @JohnFx, I didn't know that as I am from Australia and we only have to pay taxes on any type on income we earn to the Federal Government, wheather it be income from employment, business or investing. The state taxes here are mainly stamp duties, for eg when you purchase a property, Land Tax on any property you own except the home you live in, levies on things like insurance, and other fees for services provided. – Victor Jan 21 '12 at 1:07

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