Unfiled Tax Returns

January 5, 2024 | | 2 minute read
Expat Tax Guide | Everything you need to know about filing taxes abroad in 2024

certificate  Verified by IRS Enrolled Agents and CPAs

What happens if you don’t file US Expat taxes?

Penalties can get serious if you are an American living abroad and have unfiled tax returns – failing to file on time. For US expats, there is an option to request an extension by June 15th of every year except this 2024 as it falls on a weekend, so the new date is June 17th, 2024.

If you do not file and the IRS catches you, you could face penalties:

Learn more about how the IRS calculates penalties.

Did you forget to file your US taxes? Or maybe you didn’t know how to file? If you were innocent, you could use the Streamlined Filing Procedure (see below) to get back on track. If you get caught up before getting caught by the IRS, you can use the Streamlined Procedure. Best of all, it’s penalty-free!

Filing For Previous Years and Back Taxes

Did you miss filing one, two, or more tax returns? You could have a backlog of unfiled tax returns in the queue, which you’ll need to do something about. As an American expat or Green Card Holder living abroad, if you forgot or didn’t know you had to file US tax returns and the FBAR annually, there’s a tax amnesty solution for you.

The Streamlined Procedure prevents tax penalties and fees and puts you back on the IRS good list. It’s a specific process to walk through, where you will need to have information from the last three years (yearly salary, investments, etc.).

Qualify for the Streamlined Procedure

One key point that allows you to qualify for the Streamline Procedure: Your actions for not filing tax returns in the past must be innocent. This could mean you didn’t know how to file, were unaware of this tax obligation, or forgot. When you start filing through this program, you’ll need to sign a statement stating this fact on Form 14653 (or via our expat tax software).

Requirements to File Back Taxes:

You are eligible to use the Streamlined Procedure if you fall within the following guidelines:

  • You did not live in a home in the US for the last three years
  • You’re living outside of the US for at least 330 days in the year
  • You have not filed a federal tax return in the last three years
  • Haven’t filed amended or delinquent tax returns in the past
  • Haven’t filed the FBAR within the last six years

What do you need for the Streamlined Procedure?

  • Three years of back tax returns (not including this year’s return)
  • Six years of FBAR reports (not including this year’s information). FBARs are only required if you have had over $10,000 in all your foreign financial accounts at any time during the year
  • Signed statement on the Certification by a U.S. Person Residing Outside of the U.S.

How Much Does it Cost?

Our expat tax software and streamlined procedure service are among the most affordable packages for Americans abroad. Even if you have a more extensive or complex tax situation, we will not increase our fees. It is a total of 749€ including VAT (Value Added Tax), broken down into the following ways:

  • Four years of tax returns at 149€ each (including this tax year’s return)
  • plus six years of FBAR reports (if need be)
  • Extended support that will guide you through the whole Streamline Procedure process and make sure all your questions are answered.

We think that’s pretty reasonable!

Written by Michelle H.

January 5, 2024 | | 2 minute read

Tax Guide Topics

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