It is quite easy for U.S. Citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) who reside in a country other than the U.S. to either forget or not be aware of their U.S. tax obligations. The rules for filing income, estate and gift tax returns and for paying estimated tax are generally the same even if you do not live in the U.S. Citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. like U.S. Citizens are taxed on their worldwide income. Your income is reportable even if you did not receive a form W-2 or Form 1099.
The increased attention by the U.S. government on its overseas citizens might have caught your attention especially with the introduction of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA, enacted as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010, P.L. 111-147, requires U.S. withholding agents to withhold tax on certain payments to foreign financial institutions (FFIs) that do not agree to report certain information to the IRS regarding their U.S. accounts and on certain payments to certain nonfinancial foreign entities (NFFEs) that do not provide information on their substantial U.S. owners to withholding agents. FATCA withholding goes into effect July 1, 2014.
You may be thinking that you are already paying taxes in the country where you are now living and therefore not obligated to pay taxes to the U.S. as well. But U.S. tax law requires U.S. Citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) to pay taxes on all income earned worldwide. U.S. taxpayers must also report foreign financial accounts if the total value of the accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. Willful failure to report a foreign account can result in a fine of up to 50% of the amount in the account at the time of the violation and may even result in the IRS filing criminal charges.
If you have been delinquent with your taxes, living overseas does not provide relief from your obligations. Given the increased efforts on the part of the U.S. government to discover delinquent U.S. taxpayers worldwide and the increased pressures on foreign governments and financial institutions imposed by FATCA, it is in your best interest to comply voluntarily before the IRS discovers your delinquency.
You should seriously consider participating in the IRS’s Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (OVDI). Once the IRS contacts you, you cannot get into this program and would be subject to the maximum penalties (civil and criminal) under the tax law. Taxpayers who hire an experienced tax attorney in Offshore Account Voluntary Disclosures should result in avoiding any pitfalls and gaining the maximum benefits conferred by this program.
Protect yourself from excessive fines and possible jail time. Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and elsewhere in California qualify you for OVDI.
Description: Let the tax attorneys of the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. resolve your IRS tax problems, get you in compliance with your FBAR filing obligations, and minimize the chance of any criminal investigation or imposition of civil penalties.