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Assistance with filing American tax returns

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I'm an American in need of tax advise for filing this year. I've always done it myself, but this time I'm abroad and have some special circumstances.

 

Any contacts or direct advise appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi guys!

 

Looking through some old records I realized in the tumult that was 1999, I think I may have failed to declare my American tax form, which is just a ritual, but necessary for Americans.

 

Does anyone know what one should do to right such an old declaration (my Austrian taxes were way bigger, so, of course, there will not be any US taxes to come up with).

 

Are there penalties for filing a "formality declaration" so late?

 

How does one go about this?

 

Has anyone done this?

 

Thanks in advance for any input.

 

Tommer :)

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For the sake of completeness, you should do it tick the box and prevent any trouble later. People file amended returns all the time.

 

Your situation appears to be pretty straightforward: Print and fill out a 1999 Form 1040, Form 1116, and any others you may need to (Schedule A if you itemize (although n.b. the standard deduction is pretty generous already if you're claiming offsetting foreign taxes paid), etc.).

 

If your tax liability is zero, then you shouldn't be on the hook for any penalties.

 

Even more importantly, make sure you're reporting all your foreign bank accounts before June of each year ... even if the account has a zero balance, the potential criminal penalties if you miss this boggle the mind!

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So as an American living abroad, I have to file a US tax return? Is that really true? I can't believe I've never heard this before. Honestly, it never even crossed my mind. I get paid in Germany and pay taxes in Germany. How bizarre.

 

If I don't owe any US taxes, what is the penalty if I don't file a US tax return? I certainly didn't for the last 2 years I have been working in Germany (2005 and 2007.)

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Yes, you should file. However, not everyone does so you are not alone by any means. I file every year and this year got stimulated!

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So as an American living abroad, I have to file a US tax return? Is that really true? I can't believe I've never heard this before. Honestly, it never even crossed my mind. I get paid in Germany and pay taxes in Germany. How bizarre.

 

If I don't owe any US taxes, what is the penalty if I don't file a US tax return? I certainly didn't for the last 2 years I have been working in Germany (2005 and 2007.)

There is a potential penalty if you do not file while you are over here- you cannot later take the income tax exclusion (to qualify for which you must technically actually file on time) and that can lead to derivative penalties.

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Leeza, this year all americans got a economy stimulus check from good old George. But, if you didn't file, they don't know where to find you to send your check. so yes, you should (have) filed. My $300 is on the way and I haven't worked or earned from the US in years.

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I don't know if I want them to know where to find me. :ph34r: (I've been watching too much Prison Break; everything is a conspiracy.)

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There is a potential penalty if you do not file while you are over here- you cannot later take the income tax exclusion (to qualify for which you must technically actually file on time) and that can lead to derivative penalties.

is that the 911 income/housing exclusion you're talking about? I've been cobbling together my 06 and 07 returns lately, and as they're late, I think I've lost the ability to claim it right?

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BB, it is definitely too late if the IRS contacts you more than three years after the original due date of the return, e.g., June 16,2008 was (AFAIK) the due date for your 2007 return. If you file within the three year period after the due date (and any extensions requested and granted) it is more of a gray area, and that is your situation. Best to consult a CPA who specializes in filing taxes for expats to see what the actual practice is, because like all else, it depends, although in the IRS regs it says the return must be filed on time to claim the exclusion.

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I thought the stimulus package was a federal sting op to get people to file who hadn't done so previously and to find folks with outstanding warrants.

 

I made that up.

 

Still waiting for my check.

 

FF

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Hello all!

 

Just a quick question for any Americans out there...

 

Normally taxes are due April 15th.

But as we are living outside the US (pass the test for being abroad etc..) then we have a 2 month extenstion... does this sound right to you?

So we don´t have to send in our form by April 15th???

 

That is my understanding, but just wanted to check with others in the same situation.

I only worked and lived in Germany in 2008, and made under the 87,000 (or whatever the number is!! I was WAY under that :D )

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We filed for the six month extension, but that was just in case we had issues with itemizing and stuff (2 months plus that extra four months option for living abroad for most of the year). Let me know if you had a good experience with someone filing your German taxes. My German is still Grundstuffe at best.

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If you live abroad for the entire tax year (2008 in this case), then you have until June 15th automatically. However, you have to write across the top of the form "living outside of the US", but you will still be liable for any payment and any interest on that payment.

 

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html

 

 

Automatic 2-month extension. You are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay federal income tax if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and on the regular due date of your return:

 

*

 

You are living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or

*

 

You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

 

If you use a calendar year, the regular due date of your return is April 15. Even if you are allowed an extension, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return.

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Keep in mind that if you are required to file due to meeting the minimum filing requirements (same as if you were in the US), you should file. The main problem with not filing is that it can leave you open for tax audits. If you have no income, no problem...but if you do have income and you don't file, even if you qualify for the foreign income tax exclusion, you may run into a sticky situation.

 

Kris

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Ok, so my tax worries are solved by this person who knows about filing for americans living abroad. this is a solid company. they will skype with you,, the fees preparation are reasonable, i am glad i found them, here is the info:

 

Romy C. Milla

Bassett & Byers, P.A.3701 Lake Boone Trail Suite 201 Raleigh, NC 27607

P: 919-268-4261F: 919-232-2554

 

rmilla@bassettcpas.com

www.bassettcpas.com

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Reviving this thread due to the mention of the word "stimulus", taxes, and American...

 

Any word on if US citizens living abroad who are current on filing their taxes in US will be able to get the 2020 corona virus stimulus checks? I have heard mixed things...I heard it happened back in 2008, but I was still living in US then. I have filed my US taxes since living abroad, but don't think they have my US checking acct number due to me never owing anything. I'll take the mailed check, but I guess that's much more annoying.

 

If I gets the money, I'll takes the money :) 

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