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Yeah whoops. How much trouble am I in for not filing taxes?
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bobobo



Joined: 23 Jan 2013

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:19 pm    Post subject: Yeah whoops. How much trouble am I in for not filing taxes? Reply with quote

(U.S. Citizen)
I've been here for a few years now and just found out I was supposed to be filing taxes this entire time. A dope of a friend told be that if you made under 90,000 you didn't have to file. I know know that you do have to file. I guess she just got it confused with not owing anything.

Anyway, am I in trouble? Should I file starting with only this years, or try to do all of them? Any advise would be appreciated.
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Paddycakes



Joined: 05 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a Super Max in Georgia with your name written on it...

Bring lube...

Seriously, I wouldn't lose sleep. Just contact the IRS, be honest, and explain the situation.

The $90,000 exclusion is true, and as a teacher your income will be way below that.


Unless you're an expat executive making big bucks, the IRS isn't really going to care about you too much.

They'll probably just ask you to file again for the years you missed.

Read more:

http://blog.ustaxonline.com/2012/02/09/reasonable-irs-nonresident-americans-true/
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the club. Although I knew I was supposed to file anyway, but was lazy about it.

I am under the impression that you will get in trouble if the IRS catches on to you not filing before you report it.

A good bet, and something I plan to do, is to just call the IRS and explain your case. Yes, drawing attention to yourself, but in my case, I probably don't have to file every single year I missed.

In your case, I'm guessing you've been here less than five years? You'll probably have to file for each year, although when I last filed several years ago (after missing a couple of years) I just filed the one year and they didn't say anything about it.

On the bright side, as long as you don't have investment returns and things like that, it is actually pretty easy to file because your 1040 just ends up being a bunch of zeroes. That plus the 2555-EZ and you're good to go, I believe.
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as you don't owe any US taxes, and as long as you fulfill the requirement of being out of the US for 330+ days of the tax year you won't owe anything for that year unless you're making over $80k/yr, you're not in any trouble as long as you report your overseas earnings for the years you missed before you get audited.
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the "lazy" boat too. What about going to an H.R. Block (I know there's one somewhere in Itaewon) and sorting it out that way? I think it's been about 7 years or so since I've filed...all that time in Korea.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can download all the previous years' forms on-line, fill them out, and send them all in at the same time. Go to your local ward tax office and get certified individual annual income statements. Make sure you use the official exchange rate for each year provided by the IRS on-line.

If you have income from investments or interest in the US report that, too.

As of 2012, you also need to inform a separate office of all overseas accounts that have, or have had, 10k in them over the course of the year.
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newb



Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PRagic wrote:

As of 2012, you also need to inform a separate office of all overseas accounts that have, or have had, 10k in them over the course of the year.


Wow! This I didn't know. I'll have to discuss this with a tax advisor.

What do you mean by separate office?
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Son Deureo!



Joined: 30 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajuma wrote:
I'm in the "lazy" boat too. What about going to an H.R. Block (I know there's one somewhere in Itaewon) and sorting it out that way? I think it's been about 7 years or so since I've filed...all that time in Korea.


That would be expensive. H&R Block in Itaewon charges a fee for each year's filing they help you with. When I looked into it a few years back it was W150k per tax year. If you ask them to help you with 7 years of taxes, you'll be paying H&R block over W1mil for a couple hours work (if that).

That's completely unnecessary. As long as you've been out of the US for more than 330 days of the tax year and you don't have any unusual circumstances (ex. sources of U.S. income) all you have to do is fill out a standard 1040 plus a 2555 to report your foreign income and claim your expat exemption.

You can download the 2555 form and instructions from the IRS here: http://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/formsPublications.html;jsessionid=NRYGyJIoGtKTLh+bNswutg__?value=2555&criteria=formNumber&submitSearch=Find

The 1040 here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040.pdf

You can read up on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion here: http://taxes.about.com/od/taxhelp/a/ForeignIncome.htm
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yikes! That's a big chunk of change! Maybe I'll just contact the IRS and ask what I should do.
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slothrop



Joined: 03 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit

Last edited by slothrop on Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:25 am; edited 1 time in total
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waynehead



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Location: Jongno

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in this same boat up until last year, I knew I needed to do it, but just kept procrastinating. When I finally had to apply for some student loans and needed to show my tax returns, THAT's what got me off my lazy butt and motivated me to do it...but at least it's done.

There's an "H&R Block" rep in Itaewon who filed the last 5 years for me, it was easy to do and reasonably priced. Just do a google search and you can find his info. You don't even need to visit his office, like me you can do everything via phone/mail.

Don't stress too much over it, expats with modest incomes like teachers are pretty low on the IRS search and destroy list. But since it's not hard and will probably only take a few hours all told to get get done, why not go ahead?
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Report-of-Foreign-Bank-and-Financial-Accounts-(FBAR)
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many years back does one need to file to get caught up?
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously? You'd need to back file for any and every year you've worked.
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Adventurer



Joined: 28 Jan 2006

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Sam is getting stricter, so you should file. If you have over 10,000 dollars in a bank account, I believe they're supposed to know about it.
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