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February 27, 2016

US Expatriate Tax Return IRS Statute of Limitations on IRS Action Against Taxpayers

IRS Statute of Limitations for US expatriates living abroad.

1. Fail to file a return for any tax year that one is due on your worldwide income?  The statute of limitations nevers runs out to assess taxes for that year.  The IRS can come after you 10 years from now and assess taxes if you never filed the required return or forms.

2. Fail to pay taxes on past filed returns or assessed by the IRS?  The normal statute of limitations is 10 years from the date of assessment and filing a tax lien (that may be a later date from the date you filed the return) to collect tax. However, if you leave the country or the tax is assessed while you are outside the USA, that statue of limitations is put on hold until you return to the USA when it starts to run again. WHEN YOU OWE TAXES AND ARE OUTSIDE THE USA THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS TO COLLECT THOSE TAXES NEVER RUNS OUT.

3. Failed to file Foreign Bank Account Reporting Forms (FBAR or now form 114)?  The statute of limitations to assess penalties for failing to file is 6 years from the due date of each years forms.

4. 3 years from date return is filed is normal statute of limitations for assessing additional taxes on your filed return. 6 years from date return filed your return if you omitted 25 percent or more of gross income.

5. The statute never runs out if you fail to file forms 5471, 8938 8865, or 3520 --3520A. The penalties for not including these forms with your return can be $10,000 or more.

6. Criminal Tax Evasion - the statute for possible criminal prosecution is most often 6 years, but there are exceptions.

7. The statute of limitations for IRS action for civil fraud (this means assessment of  the 75% civil fraud  monetary penalty against a taxpayer) is indefinite and never runs out.  Therefore if you cheat on your tax return you are never safe.

8. If you owe $50,000 or more the IRS can have your passport taken away when you enter the US.

As a Tax Attorney, you can talk with us without fear of anything you say being used against you due to the rule of  "attorney - client privilege."

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