How to Apply for a Streamlined Program For U.S. Expats

How to Apply for a Streamlined Program For U.S. Expats

US expats are often unaware of the current US tax law and in many cases, this creates a problem for them. One of the most commonly missed obligations is the requirement to file FATCA and FBAR. Although it doesn’t apply to all US taxpayers, it applies to the vast majority. Luckily, the IRS has come up with different disclosure programs that help a taxpayer who didn’t meet their obligations to the US tax body to minimize the impact of that. One of those is the Streamlined Program.

Streamlined Program Purpose

The program is created to assist taxpayers who have failed to submit FBAR and FATCA forms when required in the following ways:

  • Providing a procedure to easily file amended and delinquent tax returns.
  • Providing favorable terms for resolving the tax and penalty procedures for amended or missing tax returns.
  • Providing favorable terms for resolving the tax and penalty obligations.

Streamlined Program Criteria

The program is offered to individual taxpayers only. Both US residents and those who live and work abroad can apply. There are several conditions that need to be met for the taxpayer to qualify for the streamlined program.

  • The taxpayer must prove that non-compliance with the tax law was not willful. This includes negligence, inadvertence, mistake or misunderstanding of the tax law.
  • The taxpayer must not have IRS initiated civil or criminal examination on their account for any taxable year.
  • The taxpayer must be up to date with any previous payments on tax and penalties.
  • The taxpayer must have a valid SSN or ITIN, depending on circumstances.

How to Apply for a Streamlined Program

To apply for the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedure follow these steps:

  • File all amended and/or delinquent tax returns for the last 3 years.
  • File forms 3520, 5471, 8938 and FBAR with the returns.
  • Label your each page of your application “Streamlined Foreign Offshore” using red ink.
  • Sign a “Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the U.S.” It certifies:
    • that the applicant is eligible for the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures;
    • that all required FBARs have now been filed; and
    • that the failure to file tax returns, report all income, pay all tax, and submit all required information returns, including FBARs, was not the result of willful conduct. – credit The Tax Lawyer.
  • Pay all taxes, penalties and interests accrued to that moment.

Readers should note that this article is only intended to convey general information on these issues and that FAS CPA & Consultants (FAS) in no way intends for the contents of this article to be construed as accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. This article cannot serve as a substitute for such professional services or advice. Any decision or action that may affect the reader’s business should not rely solely on the contents of this article, but should rather be consulted on with a qualified professional adviser. FAS shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this presentation. This article is subject to change at any time and for any reason.

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Fulton Abraham Sanchez, CPA

Fulton Abraham Sánchez, CPA I am Certified Public Accountant, specialized in Tax Planning & Offshore Strategies for Real Estate, Hedge/Equity Funds, Fintech, Crypto, Expats, IRS Debt Resolution. You can email me and follow us on Facebook : FAS CPA & Consultants.

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