Independence Expat Tax

Hey there fellow US Expat globetrotters and jetsetters! Are you living the dream life overseas, but feeling a bit uneasy about your US tax situation? Have you been blissfully unaware of your US tax obligations, or maybe you just forgot to file your taxes while living an expat life? Many US citizens and expats living abroad find themselves in the same boat. Well, fear not, Independence Expat Tax can help.

The good news is that the IRS has established the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures to help you get caught up on your US taxes penalty-free (as long as you qualify). With a little guidance and Independence Expat Tax as your resource, you’ll be able to navigate the process of catching up on your US tax obligations with ease.

Streamlined Offshore Procedures

Streamlined Offshore Procedures were established to allow Americans abroad to get caught up on filing their back taxes. The Streamlined Offshore Filing Procedures allow US expats who have fallen behind on filing an opportunity to catch up on their US income taxes without having to worry about penalties or criminal liability.  

Many US expats are surprised to find out they may have US taxes abroad and they still encounter the IRS overseas.  American expat tax services are difficult to find in foreign countries. Nevertheless, US expat tax filing is mandatory even if you are paying foreign taxes abroad.  Independence Expat Tax offers US expat tax advice and US tax help for expats wanting to file US taxes abroad.  

The IRS streamlined program simply requires you to file 3 years of delinquent tax returns and 6 years of foreign bank account reports (FBARs) instead of having to file potentially decades of tax returns that went unfiled while living abroad.

With the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign tax credit, we find many Americans living abroad owe nothing to the IRS even though they may still need to file a tax return.  Many of our clients find that they owe zero US taxes because of the foreign-earned income exclusion and foreign tax credits.
To successfully submit this Streamlined Offshore Disclosure Program to the IRS, you should work with an experienced Certified Public Accountant who has a track record of dealing with these types of situations.  

Eligibility for Streamlined Procedures
Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures are for US citizen taxpayers and permanent residents who neglected to file tax returns and/or foreign bank account reports (FBARs). The requirements for the program include: 

  • The expat taxpayer failed to file required tax returns for the most recent 3 years or failed to file required international informational returns (forms 5471, 8938, 8621, 3520, etc.).
  • US expats must file 6 years of the most recent Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR).
  • Expat taxpayers certify that failure to file was NON-willful; essentially, they were not fully aware of the filing requirements.
  • You must have been abroad for 330 days in at least ONE of the three years you will present to the IRS.​

What about Tax Penalties?
Qualified taxpayers that comply with all the requirements for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures will NOT have penalties that would typically be associated with failing to file tax returns and FBARs.  If for some reason there is an amount due, there would be a small amount of interest associated but IRS interest rates are VERY low in comparison to typical credit cards or other types of loans.  If you don’t end up owing any tax, you don’t even need to worry about any interest!

Whether you’re an unaware US citizen who’s recently been living abroad or a US expat who didn’t realize they needed to file US income taxes, it’s time to take control of your tax situation. Independence Expat Tax will help you with a Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure that will get you back on track and enjoy the expat life without any worries about Uncle Sam. Connect with Independence Expat Tax for help with your US expat taxes.

Online US Expat Tax Preparation Services