Do You Owe Taxes to the IRS? Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Residents Living Abroad is available under the Internal Revenue Service website: www.irs.gov. Publication 54.
You may be required to file U.S. Income Tax Returns according to the U.S. Tax Code and laws of the U.S.A. There are much exclusion, inclusions and other nitty gritty ifs and what not's on this publication. Therefore, I would suggest that you are read the filing requirements sections and exemptions carefully.
Many U.S. Expats believe or assume that because they now are residents in another country their obligation to pay taxes to the U.S.A is no longer required.
Just because you think, believe or assume that taxes are not due does not make it correct.
Yes, it can take years for the Internal Revenue Service to catch up with your non-filing, non-reporting and non-payment of taxes. Nonetheless, remember that the statute of limitations for collecting a tax debt is 10 years from the date a tax assessment (bill) is created.
Also, keep in mind that the assessment (billing) of a tax return that has not been filed does not start until a tax return is filed voluntarily by the taxpayer or the Internal Revenue Service creates one according to his or her records of income received by someone.
Collection of tax debts from expats is available via international collection processes and procedures. Many countries including Mexico have a tax treaty with the U.S.A. Investigations are assigned to U.S. Consulates in the State and or City that you currently live. In addition, assets and income sources can be
Levied, liens filed for encumbrance against assets in another country at the real property records governmental agencies.
As for garnishments, these can be issued to national income sources such as pension plans, retirement IRA, SEP accounts, stocks, bonds, other investments.
Thus, remember to verify if you are required to file tax returns. You can also call 267-941-1000 for IRS questions on international taxes. Taxpayer Advocate in Puerto Rico (Spanish) 787-622-8930 or English 787-622-8940.
Written by: Martha De la chaussee Partner at Advocate Tax Group LLC
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