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Publication 513

Departing Aliens and the 
Sailing or Departure Permit(p11)

Before leaving the United States, you may need to come to an IRS office to file Form 1040-C or Form 2063. You must file these forms to get a certificate of compliance (known as a sailing permit or departure permit) from the Internal Revenue Service. However, see Aliens Not Required To Obtain Sailing or Departure Permits, later.
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A certificate of compliance certifies that you have satisfied the U.S. income tax laws. This is not your final tax return.
If you are required to file a U.S. income tax return for the year, file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ after the end of the year. You have to file this form whether or not you owe more tax or are entitled to a refund of tax paid. Treat the tax you paid with Form 1040-C as a credit against the tax on your income tax return.

Aliens Not Required To Obtain Sailing or Departure Permits(p12)

If you are included in one of the following categories, you do not have to get a sailing or departure permit before leaving the United States.
If you are in one of these categories and do not have to get a sailing or departure permit, you must be able to support your claim for exemption with proper identification or give the authority for the exemption.

Category 1.(p12)

Representatives of foreign governments with diplomatic passports, whether accredited to the United States or other countries, members of their households, and servants accompanying them.

Category 2.(p12)

Employees of international organizations and foreign governments (other than diplomatic representatives covered under category (1)) and members of their households:
If you are an alien in category (1) or (2) above who filed the waiver under section 247(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, you must get a sailing or departure permit. This is true even though you filed the waiver and your income is exempt from U.S. tax because of an income tax treaty, consular agreement, or international agreement.

Category 3.(p12)

Alien students, industrial trainees, or exchange visitors, including their spouses and children, who come to the United States on "F-1," "F-2," "H-3," "H-4," "J-1," "J-2," or "Q" visas only and who receive no income from U.S. sources while in the United States under those visas other than:

Category 4.(p12)

Alien students, including their spouses and children, who come to the United States on an "M-1" or "M-2" visa only and who receive no income from U.S. sources while in the United States on those visas, other than:

Category 5.(p13)

Certain other aliens temporarily in the United States who have received no taxable income during the tax year up to and including the date of departure or during the preceding tax year. If the IRS has reason to believe that an alien has received income subject to tax and that the collection of income tax is jeopardized by departure, it may then require the alien to obtain a sailing or departure permit. Aliens covered by this paragraph are:

Category 6.(p13)

Alien residents of Canada or Mexico who frequently commute between that country and the United States for employment, and whose wages are subject to the withholding of U.S. tax.

When To Get a Sailing or Departure Permit(p13)

You should get your sailing or departure permit at least 2 weeks before you plan to leave the United States. However, the clearance may not be issued more than 30 days before you leave. If both you and your spouse are aliens and both of you are leaving the United States, both of you must go to the IRS office.

What Is Needed To Get a Sailing or Departure Permit(p14)

Please be prepared to give your planned date of departure and bring the following records with you if they apply.
  1. Your passport and alien registration card or visa.
  2. 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 copies of the income tax returns you filed for that period.
  3. Receipts for income taxes paid on these returns.
  4. Receipts, bank records, canceled checks, and other documents that prove your deductions, business expenses, and dependents claimed on the returns.
  5. A statement from each employer you worked for this year, 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 are self-employed, you must bring a statement of income and expenses up to the date you plan to leave.
  6. Proof of estimated tax payments for the past year and this year.
  7. Documents showing any gain or loss from the sale of personal or real property, including capital assets and merchandise.
  8. Documents relating to scholarships or fellowship grants, including the following.
    1. Verification of the grantor, source, and purpose of the grant.
    2. Date the grant was made.
  9. Documents indicating you qualify for any special tax treaty benefits claimed.
  10. Document verifying your date of departure from the United States, such as an airline ticket.
  11. Document verifying your U.S. taxpayer identification number, such as a social security card or an IRS-issued Notice CP 565 showing your ITIN.
Note.In community property states, a married taxpayer must bring the above-listed documents for his or her spouse also. This applies whether or not the spouse requires a clearance.