What to do if you haven’t filed an Income Tax Return

Among the various new requirements contained in IRC 877 and 877A, individuals that renounced their US citizenship or terminated their long-term resident status for tax purposes after June 3, 2004 are required to certify to the IRS that they have satisfied all federal tax requirements for the 5 years prior to expatriation. If all federal tax requirements have not been satisfied for the 5 years prior to expatriation, even if the individual does not meet the monetary thresholds in IRC 877 or 877A, the individual will be subject to the IRC 877 and 877A expatriation tax provisions.

Individuals that have expatriated should file all tax returns that are due, regardless of whether or not full payment can be made with the return. Depending on an individual’s circumstances, a taxpayer filing late may qualify for a payment plan. All payment plans require continued compliance with all filing and payment responsibilities after the plan is approved.

For more detailed information on what to do if you have not filed your required federal income tax returns, you should contact a qualified tax professional to analyze and evaluate your situation prior to contacting IRS. That way you can develop a strategy before IRS interactions, thereby allowing time in which to gather data and optimize filings.

Significant penalty imposed for not filing expatriation form

The Internal Revenue Service reminds practitioners that anyone who has expatriated or terminated his U.S. residency status must file Form 8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation Information Statement (PDF). Form 8854 must also be filed to comply with the annual information reporting requirements of Internal Revenue Code section 6039G, if the person is subject to tax under Section 877 of the Code. A $10,000 penalty may be imposed for failure to file Form 8854 when required.

IRS is sending notices to expatriates that have not complied with the Form 8854 requirements, including the imposition of the $10,000 penalty where appropriate.