With over 9 million US citizens living overseas*, it is common that many expats are unaware that they still need to catch up on their taxes. If you find yourself in this situation, the best solution is to comply through the IRS’s Streamlined Filing Procedures.
What are the Streamlined Filing Procedures?
Originally announced in 2012, the IRS program gave delinquent US taxpayers living abroad an opportunity to avoid penalties and fees by coming into compliance. Most significantly, the program has broadened eligibility criteria and eliminated all penalties related to late filing/late payments.
Procedures for International Taxpayers
In 2014, the IRS expanded the terms of the streamlined filing compliance procedure (‘streamlined procedure’) to allow overseas Americans to file overdue US tax returns.
This IRS sanctioned procedure is broadly available to all taxpayers provided they have not been the subject of a current or prior civil/criminal investigation by the IRS and, they can certify that their actions were non-wilful. It is important to be aware that the IRS state that this procedure may be discontinued at any time.
Do you have to pay any penalties?
If you are qualified for this IRS programme and comply with all of the filing procedures, you will not need to pay for any failure-to-file, failure-to-pay or FBAR penalties.
What do you have to file?
In order to be compliant with Streamlined Filing, the IRS will need to have:
- The past 3 years of delinquent Federal Tax Returns.
- The past 6 years of Foreign Bank Account Reporting forms (FBARs) to be filed.
- A completed and signed Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the U.S. (Form 14653).
Failure to submit this statement can result in returns being processed without the benefits of the streamlined foreign offshore procedure.
How can we help?
We understand that it can be stressful to be behind on your US taxes, however, here at Ingleton Partners, we have the expertise to help US expats and accidental Americans get caught up. With over 35 years of experience, we can help support you with:
- Late Tax Return Filing
- Uploading tax documents securely
- Financial management
- IRS tax advice
- FBAR filing
- Voluntary disclosure