Many U.S. taxpayers who live abroad look into Form 14653, which is also called the Certification by US Person Residing Outside of the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures. This form is a crucial requirement for those seeking to utilize the Streamlined Filing program, which offers tax amnesty to individuals who were non-willful in their failure to file taxes while living abroad. In this blog post, we will delve into the essential aspects of Form 14653 and provide a comprehensive guide for U.S. taxpayers residing outside the United States.
- Form 14653 is a certification that your failure to file tax returns was not intentional. By completing this form, you are attesting that your tax delinquency was not intentional and that you were unaware of your filing obligations. It is important to note that signing this form is done under penalty of perjury, emphasizing the importance of providing accurate information.
- Who Should File for Streamlined Procedures: The Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures are designed for individuals residing outside the United States who were not aware of their obligation to file U.S. taxes. To qualify, you must meet specific non-residency criteria, which include physical presence outside the U.S. for a significant period and the absence of an abode in the United States.
- Requirements for Streamlined Procedures: When filing for Streamlined Procedures, U.S. expats must submit the following:
- Delinquent tax returns for the past three years.
- Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs) for the past six years, if applicable.
- Form 14653, detailing the reasons for prior non-filing.
Key Elements of Form 14653:
To successfully complete Form 14653, you must provide various personal and financial details. These include:
- Filing a delinquent tax return using Form 1040, if no previous returns were filed.
- Explanation of the reasons for prior failure to file.
- Clarification of the source of funds in foreign financial accounts.
- Supportive information from FBARs, including transactions and investment decisions.
- Comprehensive account of financial assets and accounts, along with the reason for their opening.
- Contact information for any tax attorney you have been in contact with.
Filing Timeline and Importance:
It is essential to file for Streamlined Procedures as soon as possible, as the IRS may terminate the program at any time. Taking advantage of the program before it is overturned ensures the opportunity to become compliant without facing penalties. In the past, other amnesty programs have been terminated, leading to potential prosecution for willfully non-compliant taxpayers.
Effectiveness and Considerations:
By providing accurate and complete information, taxpayers utilizing the Streamlined Procedures will be exempt from failure-to-comply, failure-to-pay, FBAR, and information return penalties.
Utilizing Form 14653 is a vital step for U.S. taxpayers residing outside the United States who were non-willful in their failure to file taxes. By understanding the requirements and benefits of the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, individuals can rectify their tax delinquency without facing significant penalties. It is recommended to seek guidance from a tax attorney or an expat tax professional to ensure compliance and navigate the amnesty and IRS procedures effectively.
Remember, understanding the requirements and acting promptly is key to taking advantage of these limited-time programs and alleviating any tax burdens from the past.