The Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures serve as a type of amnesty program to help expat taxpayers who may not have been aware of their U.S. tax filing obligation and have therefore fallen years behind on their filing.
Many of the amnesty programs previously available are no longer offered, and it is certainly possible that the Streamlined filing option will be discontinued at some point in the near future.
Given this, and the many changes happening under recent Tax Reform — not to mention potential penalties for non-compliance — we urge you to move forward with your tax filing as soon as possible.
Whether you are interested in Streamlined Procedure as an option, or simply looking to file one or two years of back taxes, we are here to help.
Our team of tax professionals can review your situation to test eligibility for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, but the following is a brief description of current eligibility requirements*:
- During at least 1 of the most recent 3 delinquent tax years, the individual was physically present outside the U.S. for at least 330 days and the individual did not have a permanent abode in the U.S.
- The individual had income from “foreign financial assets” that had not been reported to tax and may also have non-compliance for report of foreign bank and other financial accounts.
- The non-compliance was not due to willful conduct.
If the individual satisfies all 3 conditions, he or she will need to file income tax returns for the most recent 3 tax years and, if required, reports of foreign bank and financial accounts for the most recent 6 reporting years.
Under the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures, if there is tax due on any of the income tax returns submitted, the taxpayer is only required to pay late payment interest on the outstanding tax liability. All other non-compliance penalties may be waived.
*This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of criteria and the rules for eligibility are subject to change.