Asked in International Law and Admiralty / Maritime for California

Q: Where can I find a map of international waters of Asia that is acceptable to the IRS or courts?

For expatriate crew members working in an airplane or ship in a Foreign Country, part of the income made there can be counted as an exclusion for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). However, when a crew member is performing their services over international waters, all the income made there is taxable. Therefor, crew members must apportion their time worked in and over a Foreign Country versus International Waters.

The purpose of finding this data on a map is to prove to an auditor that the apportionment was done accordingly.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It is greatly appreciated!

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Maritime Law Lawyer
  • Little Neck, NY

A: You could contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to inquire if they know who performs the equivalent of their services in Asian countries. The charts I use identify the National Ocean Service Coast Survey as a reference (with additional inputs from the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard), and I also use Notices to Mariners, but it depends what application you are looking to use these for. You mention courts and IRS; I use these charts for reference and jurisdictional issues in vessel collision cases. The charts I use are admissible in court for vessel collision cases, but I don't know what court purposes you need them for and what standards the IRS requires. It's possible you may find more digital than paper resources because of the shift to electronic navigation resources due to ECDIS. In addition to NOAA, maybe the Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers could help you identify their overseas counterparts for these purposes.

Tim Akpinar

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