- United States citizens (both citizens and permanent residents) required to file
- annual U.S. income tax returns and report their worldwide income regardless of where they reside. This means regardless of how long they may have been out of the states they will always be subject to the USA tax system. In fact, even “accidental citizens,” those who have citizenship (i.e. U.S. passport), but have never actually lived or worked in the USA are also subject to the U.S. tax system.In addition, you may also be able to deduct part of your qualifying housing cost and receive a credit for income taxes paid to a foreign government
While there are mechanisms in place to alleviate double taxation, there is still a requirement to lodge a tax return, if the filing threshold is exceeded (approximately $10,000 for a single person). The more important factor to consider is a proper reporting of financial assets held outside the U.S. This would include bank accounts, pensions, interests in foreign companies, partnerships or trusts. Failure to report these types of assets on the appropriate forms can result in significant penalties ($10,000 per occurrence, per year). This reporting also includes accounts for which the USA person has signatory authority over i.e. employer accounts.
The recent implementation of FACTA has caused tax compliance to become a pressing issue for U.S. persons abroad. Many banks and financial institutions are requiring USA persons to attest that they are compliant with their U.S. tax filings and obligations, as they begin reporting to the IRS on USA persons. It is important that American persons become compliant before the IRS contacts them.