Can the tax treaty apply to a US permanent resident working in US as a foreign government employee?

In a legal advice, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has concluded that compensation paid to a U.S. permanent resident employed by a foreign government is not exempt from tax under the Belgium-U.S. income tax treaty.

The facts provide that a taxpayer lives and works in the U.S. as an employee of Belgium. The taxpayer, although not a U.S. citizen, is a lawful permanent resident (i.e. a green card holder).

In general, U.S. income tax treaties contain a “savings clause” that provides that a treaty will not affect the taxation by the U.S. of its residents and citizens (see e.g. Article 1(4) of U.S. Model  Income Tax treaty.) An exception to the savings clause is provided for in almost all income tax treaties, but it is not extended to persons who are permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. (permanent residents are treated as U.S. residents under Code Sec.  7701(b)(1)(A)(i)).

The memo notes that Rev Ruling 75-425 has given rise to some confusion with respect to employees of Belgium as it provided that income under the 1948 Belgium-U.S. income tax treaty exempted from tax  the compensation paid to employees who were citizens of the employing country. Prior to the publication of the ruling, however, the new 1970 income tax treaty between both countries was signed and did  not exempt such income from taxation. Rev Rul 75-425 was not updated, but was subsequently obsoleted by Rev Ruling 2007-60.

IRS tightening grip – issues proposed regs on information reporting by U.S. passport applicants

IRS has issued proposed regs that set out rules on information reporting by passport applicants under Code Sec. 6039E.

Any individual who applies for a U.S. passport, or the renewal of a passport, or applies for the privilege of becoming a permanent U.S. resident  (green card application) must include with that application a statement containing certain items of tax information. (Code Sec. 6039E(a)) The information that must be included by both passport and immigrant applicants includes the applicant’s taxpayer identification number (TIN), if he has one. (Code Sec. 6039E(b)(1))

The 1992 proposed regs provided guidance for both passport and permanent resident applicants to comply with information reporting rules under Code Sec. 6039E, and indicated the responsibilities of specified federal agencies to provide certain information to IRS. Proposed regulations issued January 25th, replaces the 1992 regulations.

The new proposed regs under Code Sec. 6039E would require an individual applying for a U.S. passport, other than an individual who applies for an official passport, diplomatic passport or passport for use on other official U.S. government business, to provide certain information with his passport application. (Prop Reg § 301.6039E-1(a))

The passport applicant would have to provide:

(1) the applicant’s full name and, if applicable, previous name;

(2) address of regular or principal place of residence within the country of residence and, if different, mailing address;

(3) taxpayer identifying number (TIN); and

(4) date of birth. (Prop Reg § 301.6039E-1(b)(1))

The required information would have to be submitted with the passport application, regardless of where the applicant resides at the time it is submitted. (Prop Reg § 301.6039E-1(b)(2))

IRS could impose a $500 penalty amount on any passport applicant who failed to provide the required information. (Prop Reg § 301.6039E-1(c))