If you are behind with your overseas tax return, you are not alone.
Many American expatriates find themselves behind with their overseas tax returns and assume the worst — high penalties from the IRSor the US Department of Treasury (or both!), interest on underpayment and, in the worst scenarios, potential jail time. What expatriates fail to see is that being behind on an overseas tax return is more common than they may think, and may not be as difficult to resolve as originally thought.
A very common reason for being behind with an overseas tax return is not realizing the responsibility to file. This is particularly seen among dual citizens, who fail to realize that they owe any taxes to the US government because their second citizenship is their primary home.
This is exactly what happened to Doug W., a resident of the United Kingdom since 1970. When Doug first received a UK passport, the US revoked his US passport and his citizenship. When this law was revoked and his US citizenship was restored, he failed to realize this also brought a responsibility to file US overseas tax returns. Luckily, Doug spoke with the expat CPAs at Greenback Expat Tax Services.
“Greenback seemed to treat me as an individual and you (the management team) and my accountant were always extremely helpful and responded quickly. If I had any questions they were always able to answer them and were always reassuring in a situation which was pretty worrying at times.”
While filing delinquent taxes can be frightening when first approached, understanding your situation and the options available can relieve much of the stress. It is recommended that you talk to an expat CPA regarding your options if you are behind with an overseas tax return and get compliant as soon as possible.
Need Help Getting Caught Up On Your Overseas Tax Return?
We have a post specifically detailing some programs that help you get caught up on your overseas tax return that you might find helpful. If you have other questions about getting caught up on US taxes, or if you would like to learn about our expat tax services, please contact us.