Here's How Americans Abroad can File Back Taxes

By Ara Vahanian, December 11, 2020

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In the past, if you were an American taxpayer who did not file a return for missed tax years, you were eligible to take advantage of what is called the Delinquent Information Return Submission Procedures. However, as of November 2020, the IRS has removed this program and it is no longer available.

This program was mainly for those not eligible for the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures in order to take care of their tax issues. Typically, taxpayers in this category had not filed one or more international information returns that were required and had a ‘reasonable cause’ for not filing the information returns in a timely manner.

The good news is that those of you who have already applied for the Delinquent Information Submission filing can still move forward under this previous option. These forms are Form 5471, Form 3520, Form 3520-A and Form 8938. In the process of doing this, you must attach a reasonable cause statement to the submission, as usual.

For those who have not started the process, what are your options? 

The last option that remains is called the ‘Streamlined Submission’ procedure. However, the IRS cannot guarantee that this option will remain open for the international taxpayer or whether the eligibility criteria in these options will remain constant. Therefore, it behooves you to quickly make the move so that you can correct errors and ensure that you get caught up on your US taxes.

As a note for clarification, all delinquent international information returns other than Forms 3520 and 3520-A should be attached to an amended tax return and filed according to what the instructions are on that amended return. If you are an American living overseas and have not filed one or more information returns, please get in touch today to see what your remediation options are.

For inquiries on how to begin the filing process, please reach out to our tax team at

O&G Capital Management | Securities & Exchange Commission CRD# 285905

SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission, nor does it indicate that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability. The opinions expressed in this report do not constitute a buy or sell recommendation.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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