agent17

File taxes to the US - need advice

30 posts in this topic

I haven't filed taxes in ages because I haven't worked since I've moved to the Philippines.  Now I've set up a business as well as some online work that has done well, netting $50,000 last year and will likely grow next year.  I would like to file taxes to the IRS because we do plan to move back to the US sometime in the future.  I don't want any problems in the future and I would like to bring my money back home too.  With FATCA being implemented and future plans of returning back to the US, I want to do everything in the up and up.  As far as I know, it's better to declare than having to explain to the IRS in the future why you didn't declare.  We do plan to buy a house and a car in the US to retire.

I haven't filed taxes in ages, I'm at a lost here.  I have some information from the internet but I want to hear it from you guys who lived here and have filed taxes.

Let's keep this topic on how to pay taxes and don't turn it into "avoid paying taxes" thread.

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Posted (edited)

I have been using Tax Alternatives since 2008.  My nephew referred me to them and I have never been dissatisfied. They do many expat filings. Their advice is top notch. They aren't the cheapest, but are darn good and reliable. They are physically located in Auburn, Washington.

http://taxalternatives.org/

 

Edited by sugbu777
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11 minutes ago, agent17 said:

Let's keep this topic on how to pay taxes

Not sure what you're looking for.  I use TurboTax, file online, and to actually pay I use web bill pay from my bank in Texas.  Also, you can get an easy 6 month extension to file but you still have to pay on time.

 

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/u-s-citizens-and-resident-aliens-abroad-automatic-6-month-extension-of-time-to-file

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HOw long is "ages" . 

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Filing requirements are not related to employment but rather to income (i.e just because you haven't been working, doesn't mean you don't have reportable income).  I am not going to jump to conclusions based on a few sentences posted.  Maybe before you get into filing your taxes for the current and future years, you should look at what your obligations may have been in the past.  You are not on the IRS's radar now, but once you start filing again, it may raise a red flag.  

I would start directly with the IRS guides available on-line rather than the third party opinions.  Start with this one and work your way through it: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf

If you think you may have a problem based on what you read, then you should really talk to a qualified US tax advisor.  There are solutions out there but tax is a topic where generalities only go so far as everyone's individual circumstances are different. 

 

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From your query, sounds like you were not required to file with the IRS for the time you refer to (ages). If that's the case, then there should be no issue with regard to the period when taxes were not filed.  

To start filing now, you could choose to use a service as mentioned above.  I've been able to file taxes without assistance, but my income is simple enough that expert advice is not needed.

Keep in mind there is also a reporting requirement (not taxes) when you have control over accounts with $10,000.  This requirement has different timelines than the IRS filing.

If the "we" includes a wife, you can file a joint return but would need to get an ITIN for the wife.

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, SkyMan said:

Not sure what you're looking for.  I use TurboTax, file online, and to actually pay I use web bill pay from my bank in Texas.  Also, you can get an easy 6 month extension to file but you still have to pay on time.

 

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/u-s-citizens-and-resident-aliens-abroad-automatic-6-month-extension-of-time-to-file

I too use Turbo Tax. I've done our taxes for free for the pass 2 yrs using their EZ1040 form since we don't declare and or itemize anything what so ever. 

Try doing a trail run with them on-line and see what your results are. You have nothing to loose  just by trying it out. 

Let us know what you come up with. Good luck.

Edited by NOSOCALPINOY
added and corrected sentence
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8 hours ago, agent17 said:

I haven't filed taxes in ages because I haven't worked since I've moved to the Philippines.  Now I've set up a business as well as some online work that has done well, netting $50,000 last year and will likely grow next year.  I would like to file taxes to the IRS because we do plan to move back to the US sometime in the future.  I don't want any problems in the future and I would like to bring my money back home too.  With FATCA being implemented and future plans of returning back to the US, I want to do everything in the up and up.  As far as I know, it's better to declare than having to explain to the IRS in the future why you didn't declare.  We do plan to buy a house and a car in the US to retire.

I haven't filed taxes in ages, I'm at a lost here.  I have some information from the internet but I want to hear it from you guys who lived here and have filed taxes.

Let's keep this topic on how to pay taxes and don't turn it into "avoid paying taxes" thread.

Unless complicated for some reason TurboTax is probably one of the least expensive way to file. As you have a business the basic version does not have all the forms required. TurboTax Home and Business is the version you should look for.

Do you mind sharing what you are doing that jumped your income like that? (perhaps another thread) Just one fourth of that would give a needed breath to many expats.

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You might also wish to read Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

If you meet certain requirements, you may qualify for the foreign earned income and foreign housing exclusions and the foreign housing deduction.

If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to an amount of your foreign earnings that is adjusted annually for inflation ($92,900 for 2011, $95,100 for 2012, $97,600 for 2013, $99,200 for 2014 and $100,800 for 2015). In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts.

You may also be entitled to exclude from income the value of meals and lodging provided to you by your employer. Refer to Exclusion of Meals and Lodging in Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, and Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits for more information.

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38 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

Do you mind sharing what you are doing that jumped your income like that? (perhaps another thread) Just one fourth of that would give a needed breath to many expats.

I was thinking the same thing. How can I or my wife make that much on my PC from home.

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