Filing your US Taxes Late: Guide for Expats

/ US Tax

Late filing is not uncommon

Whilst the vast majority of expats know the deadlines and endeavour to meet them, late US tax filing after the deadline is not as uncommon as you might think. The IRS and US tax authorities that collect income tax all provide taxpayers with guidelines on how to file their federal and state tax returns after the deadline and so, whilst penalties and interest associated with late filing still stand, getting yourself back on track and into compliance is 100% possible. 

How to get started with late filing

US authorities require that US citizens, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and resident aliens, all file an annual US tax return. This is based on your worldwide income and is subject to US income tax regardless of your resident status. The same may also apply if you have property or any other source of income from a US state with an income tax requirement. 

You’re late filing options may vary depending on your delinquent filing history. In regard to federal tax filings, if you are delinquent in fewer than three years of tax filings or only on certain forms and returns, you may not need to use an IRS amnesty program, you should however look to file your returns as soon as possible and review your options. For delinquent filers of more than three years, you will need to use an IRS amnesty program to get back into compliance. To successfully use Streamlined Filing Compliance you will need to follow their specific requirements for filing.

With all late filings, no matter how delinquent, it is essential that you complete your late US tax filing as soon as possible in order to get back into compliance. Any delay in addressing your late filing will not be seen favourably by the IRS. Once tax notices have been issued by the IRS, it could be too late to use an amnesty program and you are likely to receive a hefty fine.

What do you need for late US tax filing?

To complete late US tax filing you will need a number of documents that related to the delinquent years; these include but are not limited to:

  • Most recent state or federal tax return; whichever is applicable
  • Proof of income; paychecks etc.
  • Foreign income tax returns filed to your host country
  • Additional income statements if applicable e.g. bank statements, dividends, stocks & shares

Help with Streamlined Filing Compliance

If you need help with filing late US tax returns and delinquent filing, speak to our expat tax specialists her at Ingleton Partners. We can review your tax history and advise on the best program to move forward with to ensure compliance. For more information on how we could help you contact us today.

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