International Taxpayer - American Samoa
American Samoa has its own separate and independent tax system. Although its tax laws are modeled on the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, there are certain differences. Requests for advice about matters connected with Samoan taxation should be sent to:
Government of American Samoa
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799
Residents of American Samoa
If you are a U.S. citizen and a resident of American Samoa, you must report your gross income from worldwide sources on your Samoan tax return. If you report non-Samoan source income on your Samoan tax return, you can claim a credit against your Samoan tax liability for income taxes paid on that income to the United States, a foreign country, or another possession.
If you are a resident of American Samoa for part of the tax year and you then leave American Samoa, you must file a tax return with American Samoa for the part of the year you were present in American Samoa. Bona fide residents of American Samoa include military personnel whose official home of record is American Samoa.
Nonresidents of American Samoa
If you are a nonresident of American Samoa, you should report only income from Samoan sources on your Samoan tax return. U.S. citizens residing in American Samoa are considered residents of American Samoa for income tax purposes.
U.S. Government Employees
If you are employed in American Samoa by either the U.S. Government or any of its agencies, or by the Government of American Samoa, you are subject to tax by American Samoa on your pay from either government. Whether you are subject to tax by American Samoa on your non-Samoan source income depends on your status as a resident or nonresident.
Wages and salaries paid by the Governments of the United States and American Samoa to their employees are also subject to U.S. federal income tax. These payments do not qualify for the possession exclusion, discussed earlier.
If you report government wages on both your U.S. and Samoan tax returns, you can take a credit on your U.S. tax return for income taxes paid or accrued to American Samoa. Figure that credit on Form 1116, and attach that form to your U.S. tax return, Form1040. Show your wages paid for services performed in American Samoa on line 1 of Form 1116 as income from sources in a possession.
To qualify for the possession exclusion, you must be a bona fide resident of American Samoa for the entire tax year. For example, if your tax year is the calendar year, you must be a bona fide resident from January 1 through December 31. In addition to this time requirement, the following factors may be considered in determining bona fide residence.
Your intent to be a resident of American Samoa, as shown by the circumstances
- The establishment of a permanent home for you and members of your family in American Samoa for an indefinite period of time
- Your social, cultural, and economic ties to American Samoa
- Your physical presence for the year.
Other factors that may be considered are the nature, extent, and reasons for temporary absences; assumption of economic burdens and payment of taxes to American Samoa; existence of other homes outside of American Samoa; and place of employment.
CAUTION! If you were not a bona fide resident of American Samoa for all of 2001, you cannot claim the possession exclusion. See If You Do Not Qualify, later.
What Income Can Be Excluded
If you qualify as a bona fide resident of American Samoa for 2001, you can exclude income from sources in American Samoa, Guam, or the CNMI and income effectively connected with your trade or business in these possessions.
Possession Source Income
Excludable income from sources within the possessions includes the following:
- Wages, salaries, and other kinds of pay for personal services performed in the possessions. (But see U.S. Government wages, later, for an exception.)
- Dividends received from possession sources, including those paid by:
- U.S. corporations that do business in the possessions and elect the Puerto Rico and possession tax credit, and
- Possession and foreign corporations that do business mainly in the possessions.
- Interest on deposits paid by banks that do business mainly in the possessions, including interest paid on deposits with the possession branches of:
- Domestic banks with commercial banking business in the possessions, and
- Savings and loan associations chartered under federal or state laws.
- Gains from the sale of securities, such as stock certificates, are from sources in the possessions if the seller's residence is in a possession and the sale is not attributable to an office or other fixed place of business maintained by the seller in the United States
U.S. Government Wages
For purposes of the possession exclusion, possession source income does not include wages, salaries, etc., paid by the U.S. Government or any of its agencies to individuals who are its civilian or military employees.
Deductions and Credits
You can neither deduct nor claim a credit for items connected to your possession income that you exclude from gross income on your U.S. income tax return. For further information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income from U.S. Possessions.
Filing Tax Returns
If you do not qualify for the possession exclusion, you must generally file a U.S. income tax return if your gross income was at least the amount shown below.
|Filing Status||Gross income of at least:|
|Married, filing jointly|| $12,950 |
|Married, filing separately|| $2,800|
|Head of household|| $9,250|
If you were age 65 or over at the end of 2001, and you do not qualify for the possession exclusion, the minimum income levels for filing a return increase. For these amounts, see the instructions for Form 1040. Some persons (such as those who can be claimed as a dependent on another person's return) must file a tax return even though their gross income is less than the amount shown above for their filing status. For more information, see the instructions for Form 1040.
Bona Fide Residents of American Samoa
If you qualify for the possession exclusion and all of your income is from sources in American Samoa, Guam, or the CNMI, or is effectively connected with your trade or business in these possessions, you do not have to file a U.S. income tax return.
If you qualify for the possession exclusion and you have income from sources outside American Samoa, Guam, or the CNMI, you must file a U.S. income tax return if your gross income is at least the amount shown on line 3 of the following worksheet.
- Enter the allowable standard deduction
- Personal exemption. (If your filing status is married filing jointly, enter $5,600. Otherwise, enter $2,800.)
- Add lines 1 and 2. You must file a U.S. income tax return if your gross income from sources outside American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI is at least this amount.
If you must file a U.S. income tax return and you qualify for the possession exclusion, claim the exclusion by attaching Form 4563, Exclusion of Income for Bona Fide Residents of American Samoa to Form 1040. Form 4563 cannot be filed by itself.
Please note this form can not be efiled.