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Old 09.07.2011, 21:05
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Us citizens and us taxes

Hi guys

I am a us citizen and been paying us taxes for last 7 years. I have been using Us tax services in Zurich for my tax preparation. So I guess all possible deductions have been considered. I am renting still so that could impact taxes, but I am paying on average about $1000 a month ($12k a year) in taxes for USA. I am rather frustrated with it since I am getting nothing from the us government for my taxes and also paying Swiss tax. A problem most Americans are dealing with.

I recently met an American who does not pay us taxes.

It got me to thinking about stopping the waste of money. I have my 401k rollover at a us broker and some an Ira there also, but nothing else. Has anyone advice or a tax lawyer that you can recommend. What are the risks of stopping filing? I dont want to end up like a middle class wesley snipes going to jail Over the last 7 years I must have spent $80k in USA taxes. That would make a good down payment on a early retirement apartment
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Old 09.07.2011, 21:37
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

You must be on a very high income to incur such tax bills.

Taxation without representation.
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Old 09.07.2011, 21:45
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

Have you looked here?

In most cases, you should be able to exclude $92,900 from your 2011 income and also deduct your housing expenses, which can result in owing no tax. You still have to file a return, however, even if you owe nothing. It might be worth your while to file amended returns for prior years to get some money back.
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Old 09.07.2011, 21:59
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

You'd think all these wealthy people bitching about US taxes and 'getting nothing' for it would either (a) renounce their citizenship or (b) contact their bought and paid for Senator and get the income exclusion raised or an appropriate tax treaty passed and/or (c) get a better accountant. So much whinging.
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Old 10.07.2011, 01:20
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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You'd think all these wealthy people bitching about US taxes and 'getting nothing' for it would either (a) renounce their citizenship or (b) contact their bought and paid for Senator and get the income exclusion raised or an appropriate tax treaty passed and/or (c) get a better accountant. So much whinging.
No matter how good your tax accountant or lawyer is. He/She must
follow the tax rules like everyone else.


For the OP. Do you have your own business or have an employer?
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Old 10.07.2011, 01:38
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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Hi guys

I am a us citizen and been paying us taxes for last 7 years. I have been using Us tax services in Zurich for my tax preparation. So I guess all possible deductions have been considered. I am renting still so that could impact taxes, but I am paying on average about $1000 a month ($12k a year) in taxes for USA. I am rather frustrated with it since I am getting nothing from the us government for my taxes and also paying Swiss tax. A problem most Americans are dealing with.

I recently met an American who does not pay us taxes.

It got me to thinking about stopping the waste of money. I have my 401k rollover at a us broker and some an Ira there also, but nothing else. Has anyone advice or a tax lawyer that you can recommend. What are the risks of stopping filing? I dont want to end up like a middle class wesley snipes going to jail Over the last 7 years I must have spent $80k in USA taxes. That would make a good down payment on a early retirement apartment
Don't mean to sound square, but are you asking a bunch of people whom you just met to help you break the law? And, among these people potentially a large group of "suckers" still paying their stupid American taxes. I don't know you, so I'm reluctant to get into your business, but since you put it out there, why not get in line at the embassy and turn in that blue passport of yours since it's no longer providing useful services and just sucking you dry?
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Old 10.07.2011, 02:19
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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Hi guys

I am a us citizen and been paying us taxes for last 7 years. I have been using Us tax services in Zurich for my tax preparation. So I guess all possible deductions have been considered. I am renting still so that could impact taxes, but I am paying on average about $1000 a month ($12k a year) in taxes for USA. I am rather frustrated with it since I am getting nothing from the us government for my taxes and also paying Swiss tax. A problem most Americans are dealing with.

I recently met an American who does not pay us taxes.

It got me to thinking about stopping the waste of money. I have my 401k rollover at a us broker and some an Ira there also, but nothing else. Has anyone advice or a tax lawyer that you can recommend. What are the risks of stopping filing? I dont want to end up like a middle class wesley snipes going to jail Over the last 7 years I must have spent $80k in USA taxes. That would make a good down payment on a early retirement apartment
About "What are the risks of stopping filing?"

I would think the US tax guys will notice quite quickly if you stop filing & will want to know why. So I think the risk is high unless you have a very good reason.
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Old 10.07.2011, 02:20
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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About "What are the risks of stopping filing?"

I would think the US tax guys will notice quite quickly if you stop filing & will want to know why. So I think the risk is high unless you have a very good reason.
Especially if the OP stops filing FBARs. Oh, the penalties and fun that would ensue then.
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Old 10.07.2011, 22:06
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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About "What are the risks of stopping filing?"

I would think the US tax guys will notice quite quickly if you stop filing & will want to know why. So I think the risk is high unless you have a very good reason.
Actually the US tax system is so huge, and for the most part, paper-based that it is unlikely that they would notice, quickly or otherwise. The problems will come if the OP eventually returns to the US and starts filing again. That's when the questions about his previous years tax returns will arise.
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Old 11.07.2011, 00:28
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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Actually the US tax system is so huge, and for the most part, paper-based that it is unlikely that they would notice, quickly or otherwise. The problems will come if the OP eventually returns to the US and starts filing again. That's when the questions about his previous years tax returns will arise.
She might get special treatment when she arrives at the airport with special agents waiting for her.
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Old 22.07.2011, 19:01
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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She might get special treatment when she arrives at the airport with special agents waiting for her.
Unless she's high profile or high value that will never happen. Any evidence for this treatment for an everyday taxpayer? Or in this case, dodger.
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Old 22.07.2011, 19:37
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

Actually, for the first time in history, you have to provide your SS # to renew your passport, so if one intends to go back to US in their lifetime, they better file their taxes.
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Old 22.07.2011, 19:41
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

Honestly, I would not risk it. Just keep filing those returns. The treatment you will get if you have unfiled returns depends on the agent assigned to the case in addition to the factors pointed out by other posters. Not to mention that if you are caught not filing returns and you owe taxes, then the penalties, interest and interest on penalties (starting from the date of not filing) will accumulate quickly and you will have to pay for audit/legal representation to settle. If you don't pay you will damage your U.S. credit score and the federal government will use all sorts of collection methods to gain access to the deficiency (wage garnishments, liens and levies). You might have to deal with both federal and state agencies if you have a deficiency with both as well. Those are just the civil consequences of not filing, not criminal.
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Old 22.07.2011, 19:44
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

So, before it expires, fly to America, and renew it there. Are they going to deny you a new passport, because you didn't file your taxes? There are millions of Americans that are unemployed.


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Actually, for the first time in history, you have to provide your SS # to renew your passport, so if one intends to go back to US in their lifetime, they better file their taxes.
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Old 22.07.2011, 19:52
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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So, before it expires, fly to America, and renew it there. Are they going to deny you a new passport, because you didn't file your taxes? There are millions of Americans that are unemployed.
Even unemployed taxpayers must file (depending on status and level of income: see chart below) and it is in their interest to file because of the federal and state earned income credits they will receive.

http://www.efile.com/tax/do-i-need-t...-a-tax-return/
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Old 22.07.2011, 21:50
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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So, before it expires, fly to America, and renew it there. Are they going to deny you a new passport, because you didn't file your taxes? There are millions of Americans that are unemployed.
Yes, actually, that's the point. They can keep you from leaving the country if you haven't filed. The last time I was at the consulate in Zurich, they wouldn't even allow an American to fill out visa paperwork for her husband to move to the US for her new job as a teach as she had never filed any returns having been born here. They didn't care that she was unaware of the need to have filed. She left in tears.

If you think you can go from filing a tax return with USD 150k + in foriegn income to filing nothing and not triggering an audit, all the power to you. Just do us all a favor and don't come back and cry on the EF when you get dinged. Chasing expats is all the rage right now as we are all super rich and not paying any taxes.

Look into the penalties being assessed for FBAR infractions these days and add to that tax evasion and decide if it's worth the 12k per year.

It hurts paying, that's for sure...but I guarantee it hurts even more to make that trip to Paris for an audit. You will be required to have all your German documents professionaly translated, that alone will cost thousands. I know of an acquaintance going through it right now.
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Old 22.07.2011, 22:01
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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Yes, actually, that's the point. They can keep you from leaving the country if you haven't filed. The last time I was at the consulate in Zurich, they wouldn't even allow an American to fill out visa paperwork for her husband to move to the US for her new job as a teach as she had never filed any returns having been born here. They didn't care that she was unaware of the need to have filed. She left in tears.

If you think you can go from filing a tax return with USD 150k + in foriegn income to filing nothing and not triggering an audit, all the power to you. Just do us all a favor and don't come back and cry on the EF when you get dinged. Chasing expats is all the rage right now as we are all super rich and not paying any taxes.

Look into the penalties being assessed for FBAR infractions these days and add to that tax evasion and decide if it's worth the 12k per year.

It hurts paying, that's for sure...but I guarantee it hurts even more to make that trip to Paris for an audit. You will be required to have all your German documents professionaly translated, that alone will cost thousands. I know of an acquaintance going through it right now.
Just wondering how would they keep people from leaving the US? I mean would they put a warrant out for you not to leave the country, or would they just deny you the right to renew your passport, but they cannot hold back anyone who has a valid passport? I mean as far as I know in order to be denied from leaving the US, that could only happen in conjunction with a warrant for someone's arrest for a criminal infraction. I am just curious.
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Old 22.07.2011, 22:02
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

Clearly if you want to go back to the US one day, you'd better be compliant. If your are not planning to go back, now that's the question...
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Old 22.07.2011, 22:06
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Re: Us citizens and us taxes

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Clearly if you want to go back to the US one day, you'd better be compliant. If your are not planning to go back, now that's the question...

Only works if you have a second citizenship...but true.
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