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Expat tax questions

Ember-K
Level 2

I’ve got a client that lives in Canada and has been living there since 2014, still an American citizen though. The client has not filed a tax return while living in Canada because they didn't know they had to. I have prepared tax returns back to 2016 (they had no income before that) and I would like to use the streamline procedures to get them up to date. Here is the issue. They owe no income tax due to the foreign income exclusion. Do I need to use the streamline procedures to take the foreign income exclusion for past years? If I do, what if I want to go back more than just 3 years? Do I need to file 2020 with the streamline procedures even if it is not past due yet? Can I file the foreign income exclusion going back to 2016 without filing the procedures if there is nothing owed? Lots to learn with expat taxes. 

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3 Replies 3
sjrcpa
Level 15

Go to irs.gov and read up on this. You have a lot of questions. Seems to be beyond the scope of this forum.

You didn't mention whether IRS has contacting the taxpayer about nonfiling. Nor did you mention foreign accounts, foreign assets and FBARs.


ex-AllStar
Ember-K
Level 2

Definitely already read all they have on this on IRS website. The client does not need to file FBAR. IRS has not contacted client. A Canadian accountant suggested they contact me.

nothing on the website discusses the foreign income exclusion in this particular situation.

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sjrcpa
Level 15

Then look elsewhere. Now your question is: Can the foreign earned income exclusion be claimed on a late filed return? Or can it only be claimed on a timely filed return?

 


ex-AllStar
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