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  #41  
Old 31.07.2012, 14:47
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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So I did everything that was suggested here and more, sent in my tax return and waited for feedback. I got some today; in a new letter basically the same letter came as before. Without aknowledging whether my amended return was even received, it again requested money with additional penalties and interest. On the back it said that if i fail to respond they may or may have already placed liens on any property that I have. The letter is dated July 16th with a deadline to pay by July 26th!!

totally freaked out
So the IRS is just ignoring that you sent your return to them and they don't provide any details about it? It sounds like they just want a big check from another American abroad. What a load of greedy bastards. Things like this make me so angry... they can't even do their job and communicate with you.
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  #42  
Old 31.07.2012, 14:54
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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So I did everything that was suggested here and more, sent in my tax return and waited for feedback. I got some today; in a new letter basically the same letter came as before. Without aknowledging whether my amended return was even received, it again requested money with additional penalties and interest. On the back it said that if i fail to respond they may or may have already placed liens on any property that I have. The letter is dated July 16th with a deadline to pay by July 26th!!

totally freaked out
I've had the same thing happen with dates and deadlines, it's like the IRS operates on its own calendar, and certainly doesn't take account of international mail. Always receive things past the date to be paid, so they must send it via Papua New Guinea by 'C' mail. Although it will cost you, I found it best to call them, they can pull up all your records on there side and straighten it out, or at least fix the due dates.
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  #43  
Old 31.07.2012, 15:01
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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So I did everything that was suggested here and more, sent in my tax return and waited for feedback. I got some today; in a new letter basically the same letter came as before. Without aknowledging whether my amended return was even received, it again requested money with additional penalties and interest. On the back it said that if i fail to respond they may or may have already placed liens on any property that I have. The letter is dated July 16th with a deadline to pay by July 26th!!

totally freaked out
So at what point will you be resigning your US citizenship and going Swiss?

I'm still stunned whenever I read about you guys paying taxes to a country you don't even live in.
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  #44  
Old 31.07.2012, 15:13
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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So at what point will you be resigning your US citizenship and going Swiss?

I'm still stunned whenever I read about you guys paying taxes to a country you don't even live in.
Seriously, enough with the "why don't you give up your citizenship" crap. Aside from the incredibly obvious, the lack of a second passport, there are a myriad of reasons why it is difficult, both of terms of emotion and practicality, to give up one's citizenship. It's not something anyone does or should take lightly, despite your repeated indications that you think it's about as easy as switching from cablecom to swisscom. I would love to give up my US passport as soon as possible, but I currently can't for a number of reasons that are far more important to me than avoiding the tremendous annual pain in the ass thanks to the IRS.

Kiwiguy, the exact same thing happened to me 2 years ago, I filled out the tax form wrong and got a tax bill for 10k. I highly suggest you call, forget the letter writing stuff, it takes forever and responses get crossed up in the weeks it for it to get here or there. A phonecall and the amended form took care of it more, not after a few months of panic though. They have no idea how stuff like this hanging over your head can negatively impact your life.
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  #45  
Old 31.07.2012, 15:33
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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...despite your repeated indications that you think it's about as easy as switching from cablecom to swisscom...
As a point of order, I would argue it is probably easier to give up US citizenship than switch from Cablecom to Swisscom. Now that erroneous comparison is cleared up, carry on.
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  #46  
Old 31.07.2012, 15:41
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

I was going to suggest you call, but I see other posters have as well. I highly, highly recommend you call the IRS ASAP - numbers at this link and this link.

As I was dealing with a somewhat uncommon tax situation, I found the people on the phone to be very helpful. Have all your information readily available, including past tax returns, social security statements, expense documentation, whatever may be applicable. In doubt, have it available.

Of course, always fingers crossed!
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  #47  
Old 31.07.2012, 15:46
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

I did call because I was so freaked out. The lady on the phone said that my case is with an accountant and is still waiting to be processed. They had put a hold on the account while it is being processed. It must have expired and she put a new 8 week hold for me. I told her how much i had freaked and she said not to worry, it should sort itself out. They dont get angry with you if you keep in contact with them......

So i can confirm that they are actually not so bad if you talk to them
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  #48  
Old 31.07.2012, 16:14
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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Seriously, enough with the "why don't you give up your citizenship" crap.
...
It's not something anyone does or should take lightly, despite your repeated indications that you think it's about as easy as switching from cablecom to swisscom.
Not sure who you thought you were replying to, but I'm sure I've never suggested anything of the sort. In fact, I rather think it's the first time I've actually posted on the subject (AICBW).

In any case - lighten up man! Holiday tomorrow, and the weather's great!
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:16
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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I did call because I was so freaked out. The lady on the phone said that my case is with an accountant and is still waiting to be processed. They had put a hold on the account while it is being processed. It must have expired and she put a new 8 week hold for me. I told her how much i had freaked and she said not to worry, it should sort itself out. They dont get angry with you if you keep in contact with them......

So i can confirm that they are actually not so bad if you talk to them
The difference is that if you do things by post, you are dealing with a pen-pusher who is trying to tick boxes and get things past his/her desk as quickly as possible.

Pick up the phone and you are dealing with a person.
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:17
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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Seriously, enough with the "why don't you give up your citizenship" crap. Aside from the incredibly obvious, the lack of a second passport...
There have cases of Americans renouncing and becoming stateless; in fact US Citizenship Law does not forbid renunciations if one lacks another citizenship, statelessness is mentioned as a risk of renunciation.

Also, Switzerland has path to acquire citizenship to "prevent statelessness". You may wanna look into that if things get desperate!
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:33
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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I'm still stunned whenever I read about you guys paying taxes to a country you don't even live in.

Yeah, me too. It just does not compute.
The logic of you earning one salary yet paying 2 lots of tax on it is just bonkers.

Genuine question: How do they justify it? - i mean what's the official line?
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:39
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

Ok, this isn't related to the USA but this thread has me a bit worried... I moved away from Canada (my homeland) in 2007. Lived in Germany until 2010 and now with my husband here in Switzerland. Could I possibly get such a crazy letter from tax collectors as well!?!?! I have no idea if we have such stupid laws back home...
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:45
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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Ok, this isn't related to the USA but this thread has me a bit worried... I moved away from Canada (my homeland) in 2007. Lived in Germany until 2010 and now with my husband here in Switzerland. Could I possibly get such a crazy letter from tax collectors as well!?!?! I have no idea if we have such stupid laws back home...

No, you don't
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:46
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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Not sure who you thought you were replying to, but I'm sure I've never suggested anything of the sort. In fact, I rather think it's the first time I've actually posted on the subject (AICBW).

In any case - lighten up man! Holiday tomorrow, and the weather's great!
Sorry, you're right, you posted in the last thread on this subject but it was somone else with the suggestion of "Hey, you should give up your citizenship, problem solved!"
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Old 31.07.2012, 16:57
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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Yeah, me too. It just does not compute.
The logic of you earning one salary yet paying 2 lots of tax on it is just bonkers.

Genuine question: How do they justify it? - i mean what's the official line?

I am guessing it was enacted to to catch the people who they felt left to go to countries with a lower tax. (which nowadays is not too many) You can deduct a certain amount of earnings from any US taxes; if you make over this amount you have to pay the USA tax. (Although you can subtract taxes paid to a foreign government) So in this sense, its not strictly double taxation...its just making sure that you don't pay less than the US tax rates no matter where you are in the world. Since many other countries have tax rates higher than the US and since many expats are not necessarily making tons overseas it really affects a small amount of expats.

The problem is in the paperwork and filing two tax returns every year. It costs extra and if you do it yourself.....well see what happened to me. It also sucks because they allow you to file electronically if you live in the US, but overseas citizens have to conduct everything through increasingly expensive international snail mail
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Old 31.07.2012, 17:02
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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I am guessing it was enacted to to catch the people who they felt left to go to countries with a lower tax. (which nowadays is not too many) You can deduct a certain amount of earnings from any US taxes; if you make over this amount you have to pay the USA tax. (Although you can subtract taxes paid to a foreign government) So in this sense, its not strictly double taxation...its just making sure that you don't pay less than the US tax rates no matter where you are in the world. Since many other countries have tax rates higher than the US and since many expats are not necessarily making tons overseas it really affects a small amount of expats.

The problem is in the paperwork and filing two tax returns every year. It costs extra and if you do it yourself.....well see what happened to me. It also sucks because they allow you to file electronically if you live in the US, but overseas citizens have to conduct everything through increasingly expensive international snail mail
my accountant files things electronically (except this year as we can't file our 2011 return until after the oct 15 deadline, so have to file by paper). Is that limited to accountants?

But yes, doing it yourself suck and paying someone else to do it also sucks. blah.
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Old 31.07.2012, 17:16
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

Max Keiser just (ironically) posted this on Facebook... Thought my fellow EFers would like it:

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Old 31.07.2012, 17:32
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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I still don't think JBZ should be awarded a point. It's not so clear that BFR was claimed in previous taxes(Subsequent taxes... yes). Maybe I missed it, but did OP ever say what he claimed on the 08 and 07 returns(BFR or PPT)? All I saw was the he filed 09 taxes very late.

In fact, from the info provided, the first tax year that OP would have been able to claim BFR in Switzerland would have been tax year 2009. He would have had to claim PPT for Tax year 08 since he was not BFR for a full calendar year.

ooo, hadnt seen this.

BFR can be claimed from the date of entry, once you qualify for it, which the OP clearly does. Often people, file a 2350 extension to qualify for BFR, when they perhaps do not need it due to qualfying under PPT. But, doesnt escapre fact, BFR date is date arrived in Foreign country, (subject to all previously discussed criteria).

OP, I suggest call them. They likely havent received and/or processed and you have received a system generated churn out.

Do give them a call. Do let me know also whether you want to go over the return. I wont charge you.
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Old 31.07.2012, 18:25
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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The problem is in the paperwork and filing two tax returns every year. It costs extra and if you do it yourself.....well see what happened to me. It also sucks because they allow you to file electronically if you live in the US, but overseas citizens have to conduct everything through increasingly expensive international snail mail
That's far from the only problem. I can whip through the forms pretty quick, and the cost of a stamp, even for international postage, is pretty far below the chunk of my salary uncle Sam wants*.

Yes, yes, I make more than the average income in Switzerland. Let's preempt that snide comment, shall we?
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Old 31.07.2012, 19:53
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Re: IRS letter! Unexpected Bill

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Ok, this isn't related to the USA but this thread has me a bit worried... I moved away from Canada (my homeland) in 2007. Lived in Germany until 2010 and now with my husband here in Switzerland. Could I possibly get such a crazy letter from tax collectors as well!?!?! I have no idea if we have such stupid laws back home...
Actually Canada has something about an intention to return. So if you sold your property etc and departed Canada you should be fine. If they can prove your temporarily abroad while maintaining a permanent residence in Canada the law can be just as absurd. Think its seldom used and aimed at really really rich.

I had friends who deliberately sold there residential homes in Canada to appease this tax clause. They kept a summer cottage so that seems fine.
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