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How To Handle Expatriate Tax Returns – Joe Mastriano, CPA Gives Us An In Depth Explanation!

Expatriate tax return issues require the experience of a knowledgeable tax CPA. People who live outside the U.S. often have to deal with expatriate tax return issues from the IRS.  We can help you in more ways than you can believe.  Don’t be a victim of tax preparers who have a lot of experience filling out expat returns, but who have little IRS representation experience. 

The following information is via a Suite101 Article on the best way to handle expatriate tax returns:

” The US Tax Requirements on Expatriation According to the IRS, “The expatriation tax provisions under Section 877 and Section 877A of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) apply to US citizens who have renounced their citizenship and long-term residents (as defined in IRC 877(e)) who have ended their US resident status for federal tax purposes.” There are different rules for expatriates depending on the date when they officially expatriated. *  Expatriation on or after June 16, 2008  * 
Expatriation after June 3, 2004 and before June 16, 2008 * Expatriation on or before June 3, 2004 Americans Who Expatriated on or After June 16, 2008 New rules apply to the expatriate if they expatriated after June 16, 2008 * The average annual net income for the five years after the date of expatriation or the actual termination of residency is more than $139,000 (if the residency was terminated prior to January 1, 2009) * The net worth of the citizen is $2 million or more on the date of expatriation or termination of residency. * The expatriate failed to certify on form 8854 they complied for all US tax obligations for the five years before signing the expatriation or terminating residency. If the person expatriated prior to June 17, 2008 the rules in effect at that time applies here. Americans Who Expatriated After June 3, 2004 and Before June 16, 2008. 
The new form 8854 has been updated to allow individuals meet the new notification and information reporting requirements imposed by the AJCA (The American Jobs Creation Act). This revised form stipulates that the expat has met the tax obligations for the five years prior to the expatriation.  Form 8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation Information Statement (PDF) The IRS has stated that many expats who renounced their citizenship or terminated their long term residency, simply did not know how to fill out the form.

So according to the IRS, “If an individual who loses US citizenship or terminates long term resident status after June 3, 2004 files the revised form 8854 by June 15, 2005, the individual will be treated as having met his or her reporting obligations on the date on which the taxpayer provided the requisite notice to the Department of State or the Department of Homeland Security.” It is best to read the entire tax Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens to understand all requirements for expats. Americans Who Expatriated on or Before June 3, 2004 The expatriation tax provisions (prior to the AJCA amendments) apply to all US citizens who have renounced their citizenship and also for long-term residents who have decided to end their residency to avoid paying future taxes.
There are two tests that may allow the expatriate to apply to the IRS and claim they did not expatriate to avoid taxes: 1. If the average income for the last five tax years prior to expatriation was more than $124,000. 2. The US citizen’s net worth on the date of expatriation was $622,000 or more. To qualify for this exemption, the expatriate must file within one year of renouncing their citizenship. US citizens who renounce their citizenship and long term residents who terminated their US residency for tax purposes must file a form 8854. For more information on these tax provisions look for Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens. Expats Must File Form 8854 Form 8854 must be filed or the expatriate may be subject to a $10,000 fine. This form is used by people who relinquish their citizenship or those long term residents who want to avoid taxes in the future.  This form is for people who expatriated on or after June 4, 2004 “

There are two tests that may allow the expatriate to apply to the IRS and claim they did not expatriate to avoid taxes: 1. If the average income for the last five tax years prior to expatriation was more than $124,000. 2. The US citizen’s net worth on the date of expatriation was $622,000 or more. To qualify for this exemption, the expatriate must file within one year of renouncing their citizenship. US citizens who renounce their citizenship and long term residents who terminated their US residency for tax purposes must file a form 8854. For more information on these tax provisions look for Publication 519, US Tax Guide for Aliens. Expats Must File Form 8854 Form 8854 must be filed or the expatriate may be subject to a $10,000 fine. This form is used by people who relinquish their citizenship or those long term residents who want to avoid taxes in the future.  This form is for people who expatriated on or after June 4, 2004 “

IRS collection and audit issues require more than knowledge of expatriate tax returns, but rather knowledge AND experiences in dealing with the various divisions of the IRS. That’s where we come in! Please See Our Expatriate Taxes Page to see the benefits of having a good tax CPA, such as Joe Mastriano.

If you are considering hiring us, call Joe Mastriano, CPA 713-774-4467.
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