U.S. IRS gives expats a chance to duck penalties

U.S. taxpayers who failed to file all those forms required by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service now have a second chance.

The IRS has expanded its amnesty program for overseas taxpayers, according to Randall J. Lindner, an enrolled agent and principal of  U.S. Tax International in Rohrmoser.

Lindner said that the U.S. tax collector just changed the rules and those overseas who have failed to file such documents as reports of foreign bank accounts or even tax returns, can do so without penalty for an undetermined time.

The IRS itself says that the so-called streamlined filing compliance procedures are available to taxpayers certifying that their failure to report foreign financial assets and pay all tax due in respect of those assets did not result from willful conduct on their part.

Lindner said that this qualification probably is true of many U.S. taxpayers here who have been confused by the various IRS demands. He called this a great opportunity for those who must comply with IRS rules to come clean.

Many expats have fallen behind on their obligations to the Internal Revenue Service, and many have been fearful of being forced to pay large penalties. These include expats who might own a foreign corporation or a foreign bank account.

The IRS has had other programs to encourage compliance, but participation usually generated stiff penalties. And in the past some avenues were only open to taxpayers who owed $1,500 or less.

That limit has been waived.

The new emphasis also applied to those who may have U.S. tax obligations but have lived much of their life overseas.

Dealing with the IRS always is complicated, and Lindner has outlined the new opportunities in detail HERE!

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