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Offshore reporting deadline quickly approaching

Tax attorneys understand how serious the penalties are concerning nondisclosure of offshore assets. For purported violations, the IRS may seize 50 percent of the account’s value, file possible criminal charges, and assess other penalties.

The IRS is giving notice that taxpayers working outside of the country must file their federal income tax returns by June 15. This applies to both United States citizens and to resident aliens living abroad. This also includes those with dual citizenship.

Do you need to file?

Under most circumstances, the IRS requires reporting of offshore income and accounts. It doesn’t matter if you qualify for benefits under the Foreign Earned Income exclusion or the Foreign Tax credit. To be eligible for such tax benefits, you must first file a federal income tax form.

The law requires for American citizens and resident aliens to report offshore income. The chief concern is to identify all foreign accounts you may hold. And if the value of financial assets exceeds specific thresholds, you will need to report those assets as well. You must report all foreign financial accounts with values greater than $10,000.

There are a large variety of rules concerning filing extensions. For example, military members in combat zones may have additional time to file their returns.

As there has been a great amount of confusion regarding offshore filing requirements, it is important to not file returns based upon incorrect assumptions. While the filing requirements are extremely complex, this does not mean the IRS will be forgiving if information submitted is incomplete or incorrect.

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