Bright!Tax CPA Jeff Chaney is a leading U.S. tax accountant for Americans living abroad. He has helped over 1,000 U.S. expats ensure that they fulfil their U.S. tax filing requirements in the most beneficial possible way.
Prior to joining Bright!Tax, Jeff was a Senior Associate at Andersen Tax in Seattle and obtained a Masters degree in Taxation.
Bright!Tax is a multi award-winning provider of U.S. tax services for Americans living overseas. All Americans have to file U.S. taxes every year, including Americans living abroad, even if they also pay local taxes in the country where they live, or if there’s a tax treaty. Through combining cutting-edge technology and enthusiastic, personable support, Bright!Tax has redefined the experience of filing U.S. taxes from afar.
The U.S. is the only developed country that requires citizens living abroad to file and many Americans living abroad are unaware of this requirement. Far from a blissful ignorance, in an era of international digital banking the IRS has global reach, and not filing can lead to IRS interventions such as fines and even refusing to renew a U.S. passport.
Thankfully, there’s a way for these American expats who haven’t been filing from abroad to catch up without facing IRS sanctions. Jeff explains: “In 2014 the IRS introduced a new amnesty program for Americans abroad who didn’t realize that they have to file. The program is called the Streamlined offshore Procedure, and it allows expats catch up without facing any penalties”
“Furthermore, when expats catch up using the program, they can claim provisions such as the Foreign Tax Credit or the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion in order to reduce or, in many cases, completely nullify their U.S. tax burden. In fact, many end up receiving an unexpected refund.”
Jeff continues: “The program is strictly voluntary, so it’s only available if the IRS hasn’t contacted you yet. In order to use this procedure, you have to file your last three federal returns, and up to six years of Foreign Bank Account Reports, while providing a statement explaining why you didn’t previously file.
“Filing from abroad is complex at the best of times, ensuring you get everything right and file in your best interests, so it’s always wise to seek assistance from an expat tax specialist.”