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#400592 - 02/19/11 03:19 PM US Tax returns
beachdude Offline
There was a thread a few weeks/months back about expats filing in the US. Search is not working.
I read, and thought this was misinformation at the time, but bit my tongue.
Just got through a dialogue with an IRS agent, if you did not make any money, you do not have to file, period. I have not filed since 2006, I am AOK with the IRS.

#400614 - 02/19/11 04:22 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: beachdude]
ragman Offline
I vaguely remember that conversation but I don't recall anyone stating that you had to file without any income. Most of us have income from either the USA or Belize. Either from earned income or unearned (dividends, rental ect)

You must remember that each one of us has individual circumstances that have to be considered in a complicated US Tax system.
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

#400615 - 02/19/11 05:20 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: ragman]
SnoopysMom Offline
I have heard the same thing as beachdude, but I believe the point of filing is for the statute of limitations. Not sure how this would protect you if you failed to claim income, except they might do an audit and bother you later?

#400628 - 02/20/11 02:47 AM Re: US Tax returns [Re: beachdude]
Cooper Offline
I would file...we have always filed and being U.S. citizens living abroad do not pay taxes to the US anyway except for social security....and their is the problem..we just spent 8 months in appeals trying to get my husbands social security being Belize residents and boy do they want all your records of making money or not making money...once you say you are existing without making money..not really our case but we were called liers..cause all self employed folks lie according to them ..we had to send them a 3 lb box of all our living expenses receipts..etc,,etc.. and we had Michael Fox..God bless his soul do our taxes for the last 5 years..people that just disappear from their US home do far worse.....and hey you may think S.S. is a joke but now we have an extra 1,100 a month....

#400633 - 02/20/11 11:27 AM Re: US Tax returns [Re: Cooper]
beachdude Offline
With all due respect, the fact that you do unnecessarily file does not put you in a position to say what would have happened if you hadn't. You are just assuming that the IRS will give you a hard time, and you are right about that either way.
Back a few years ago when the laws were swayed in favor of rich people, they did a complete 180 degree turn, the burden of proof in now back on the IRS to prove that you are lying, not the other way around like it used to be.

#400634 - 02/20/11 12:26 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: beachdude]
catdance62 Offline
i wouldn't want to be the one to find out.....

#400635 - 02/20/11 01:00 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: beachdude]
Barnacle Offline
i agree with cooper. my wife has been dealing with all this for years and it seems to get worse each year.
s,s, and medicare seem to be our problems.

#400638 - 02/20/11 01:44 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: beachdude]
ragman Offline
beachdude, Ok now I see where you are coming from.
Back a few years ago when the laws were swayed in favor of rich people, they did a complete 180 degree turn, the burden of proof in now back on the IRS to prove that you are lying, not the other way around like it used to be.
I understand now. You are talking about the 5 percent of people who paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income. Or are you talking about •Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.

Taxes paid by the lower 50% come to about 4% of all individual income taxes. Many get money back and pay no income tax with the $1,000 child credit.

Yes, I would say the laws are swayed in favor of the rich. Or maybe this is the problem in the USA when so many can vote for things they do not have to worry about paying for.
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

#400641 - 02/20/11 02:11 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: ragman]
beachdude Offline
I am not going to get into a political debate over who paid for what, who has the right to vote, etc. The US is a mess, and it is what it is.
When the original poster, who now won't own up to it now, posted that you must file every year, regardless of whether you made a dime or not, this sent me scrambling, because my CPA had told me not to bother to file.
I decided to contact the dreaded IRS and see where I stood, I am IRS certified AOK in their books, saved email to prove it, not having filed in 5 years now.
End of story, I don't talk religion , politics, etc, Staying legal and not clogging the over-bloated system with unnecessary returns to process is all I want to accomplish.

#400651 - 02/20/11 03:51 PM Re: US Tax returns [Re: beachdude]
mrs deadserious Offline
Brave beachdude contacting the IRS. Kudos.

I did want to add that while legally you do not have to file, it does open you up to indefinite possibility of audit by the IRS.

My understanding from our tax attorney is that if you do not file in any year, even if you have no income and tax liability, then there is no limit to the amount of time the IRS can come after you for an audit. If you file every year, even with no income or tax liability, the IRS can only go back so many years (I think it was 7 or something) for audit.

So while you may not have to file legally, it may alleviate worry about getting a knock on the door 12 years from now for something you didn't do in 2011. But if you are not concerned about a potential audit, then no worries.

Please read this knowing that I am not an attorney and feel free to double check my facts.

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