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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens

Overseas Taxpayers

March 14, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has received information about a new reporting form that taxpayers will be required to use this tax filing season to report specified foreign financial assets for tax year 2011.  The Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) should be filed by taxpayers with specific types and amounts of foreign financial assets or foreign accounts.  It is important for taxpayers to determine whether they are subject to this new requirement because the law imposes significant penalties for failing to comply.

Form 8938, the instructions, regulations implementing this new foreign asset report, and other information to help taxpayers determine if taxpayers are required to file Form 8938 are available on the web at:
http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=248113,00.html.

U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at their destination.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens may contact the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, via e-mail to BaghdadACS@state.gov.  In the event of a U.S. citizen emergency please contact:  0770-443-1286 (from Iraq) or 011-964-770-443-1286 (from the United States).

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "A Safe Trip Abroad,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad. 

Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.  You can also download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.  In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).