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How Does The IRS Know Your Travel Dates?

How Does The IRS Know Your Travel Dates?

Courtesy of Marc Gedeon

You're probably thinking the NSA right? Well, you'd be surprised to know that while Snowden and his clan at the are NSA busy tracking your phone calls, the IRS is not relying on the NSA to supply it with your travel information.

Why, because the IRS has developed its own "Eye In The Sky" to track your travel in and out of the US.

At Gedeon Law & CPA, we're constantly studying up on IRS procedures for purposes of counseling our clients. As we recently discovered through our research, the IRS has created a little known database called TECS.

This database has major implications for Canadians who like to frequently cross the border to shop, vacation or do business in the US because now the IRS has its own way to track your travel in and out of the US to determine if you qualify as a US tax resident under the substantial presence test.

This database contains information about specific dates of past international travel and locations of travel for individuals over a period of several years. TECS contains records of air and sea travel, records of border crossings, and the specific dates that individuals have traveled to and from the US. While the TECS historical travel information will provide both US entrance and exit information for non-resident aliens, it will only provide US entrance information for US citizens and Green Card holders.

Using this information, the IRS can now easily determine a taxpayer's status regarding US tax residency under the substantial presence test.

At Gedeon Law & CPA, we regularly encourage our Canadian and non-resident individual clients who find themselves frequently visiting the United States to keep a log of their travel dates in and out of the US. In the event you spend enough time in the US to qualify as a US tax resident, feel free to contact one of our tax professionals to discuss how you may still qualify to file a 1040NR US tax return as a non-resident.

*This content is for general information purposes only and is not legal or tax advice. Materials on this website should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisers. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not form a client relationship between the sender and receiver. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Do not send us confidential information until you speak with one of our staff and get authorization to send that information to us. No client relationship will be formed with our firm absent a written retainer agreement that is signed by the firm and the prospective client and that defines the scope of the representation.

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