Expats Can File file Multiple Late U.S. Tax Returns (Tax Specialist)
It is very common for US Expats to get out of IRS tax compliance due to no real fault of their own.
Expats & U.S. Tax
Each year, we represent many Expats, and often times the rationale for not timely filing tax return seems absolutely acceptable:
- I make less than the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
- I was told at the Embassy I don’t need to file
- I file taxes in the country I live
- I wouldn’t owe any US tax anyway
The IRS Sees it Differently
While these are all seemingly legitimate reasons for not timely filing a U.S. tax return, from the IRS’ perspective, they just don’t see it that way.
All the IRS notices is that a person who is otherwise required to file a tax return, has not filed a tax return for one or more years.
What Can an Expat Do To Get IRS Compliant?
Depending on a person’s facts and circumstances, an Expat may have a relatively simple way of getting into compliance. Moreover, , the IRS may waive all penalties associated with the non-filing.
Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (SFOP)
The main program our clients use if they were non-willful and meet the SFOP Foreign Residence requirement is to file using the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures. “SFOP” is an IRS approved IRS offshore disclosure program designed to assist U.S. Person who have not filed tax returns for one or more years with getting into U.S. tax compliance — without paying any penalties.
Unlike the traditional OVDP, the requirements and submission process for the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures are relatively lax.
Please click here to learn more about the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures.
What if I Was Willful?
If you were a willful or acted with reckless disregard, you do not qualify for the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures. Yes, there are several attorneys still willing to take you streamlined( because they have no ethics and little regard for your well-being), so please be careful.
If you want to read a cautionary tell about what could happen if you take this route, please click here for summary: “OVDP Willfulness – The Danger of Using Inexperienced Counsel”
There are benefits to using the traditional OVDP, even if you were non-willful, but especially if you were a willful you should speak with an experienced offshore disclosure where before making any affirmative representations to the IRS.
What if I Do Not File Tax Returns?
If a person does not file under one of the approved voluntary disclosure programs, they may become subject to extensive fines and penalties.
That is not intended to scare you. Rather, you should take heed that the IRS has made IRS offshore compliance a key enforcement priority, and that if the IRS does find you first, they are authorized to issue penalties that may result in a lien, levy or passport revocation.
Golding & Golding, A PLC
We have successfully represented clients in more than 1000 streamlined and voluntary disclosure submissions nationwide, and in over 70-different countries.
We are the “go-to” firm for other Attorneys, CPAs, Enrolled Agents, Accountants, and Financial Professionals across the globe.