Americans who may have lived for years outside the US are generally fully compliant with their tax affairs in the country in which they live. However many have been unaware of their continued requirement to file US tax and information returns. These individuals should be considering a voluntary disclosure route (i.e. approaching the IRS before they are found).
We are now in an environment where legislation has been enacted that gives the US authorities unprecedented access to information beyond their own borders. With a recent history of voluntary disclosure programs offered by the IRS, non-compliant taxpayers should be giving very serious consideration to getting back into the US tax system through these opportunities.
There are very broadly three possible voluntary disclosure options available. Two of these fall within formal IRS administrative programs: the 2012 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI) and (as of 1 September 2012) the streamlined procedure for “low compliance risk” cases. The third option is to file late tax returns because either you do not meet the criteria to enter into them, or because the voluntary disclosure programs themselves are probably not appropriate given the circumstances.
There have also been scenarios of being an ‘accidental’ American unaware of his/her US citizenship let alone their requirement to file tax returns.
We are able to help and advise non-compliant US taxpayers on voluntary disclosure and the options available to them in achieving the goal of getting (back) into the system.
Please click the link to read up more about US Streamlined Procedure from the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Streamlined-Filing-Compliance-Procedures
If you would like a US tax specialist to contact to discuss matters further, please click here to send us your contact details, and a member of the US team will call/email you back.