Streamlined Procedure

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Get back on track with the Streamlined Procedure


If you are a US citizen, you may have been hearing a lot about the “Streamlined Procedure” lately. This is a set of IRS procedures that allow certain taxpayers to catch up on their US tax filings and avoid hefty penalties for not filing. It is also called an amnesty program.

In short: under the Streamlined Procedure, you have to file 3 years of tax returns and 6 years of FBARs, backward. And you must provide a statement that the non-compliance is “non-willful”

For example, suppose it is now July 10, 2022. You would like to become compliant and submit a Streamlined Procedure. One needs to file a minimum of 3 years of US tax returns, this will be 2021 – 2020 and 2019. And one reports the last 6 years FBAR, the years 2021 – 2020 – 2019 – 2018 – 2017 and 2016.

Are you thinking about giving up your US citizenship for good in the near future? Then consult with the team at Americans Overseas, the Streamlined Procedure is extensible so that you meet the number of filed tax years sooner to be able to renounce.


Who is eligible for the Streamlined Procedure?

In order to qualify for the Streamlined Procedure, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You must have failed to file a US tax return in any of the previous three years. 
  • You have a valid SSN/ TIN.
  • You must not have been contacted by the IRS about your failure to file US tax returns or report foreign financial assets in any of the previous three years. 

Note: there are more specific criteria, above are the general criteria. If you meet all of the above criteria, you can file your delinquent US tax returns and pay any taxes owed using the Streamlined Procedure. You will also need to file delinquent FBARs (Foreign Bank Account Reports) for any foreign financial accounts that you failed to disclose in the previous six years.

You do not need an SSN to start preparing the tax returns. We find that it is advisable if you are still waiting for an SSN, to start already with the Streamlined Procedure, for example. Both you and the CPA need some time to get all the documents and US tax forms together and in order. This way you can start filing immediately when your SSN arrives and you do not have to start the tax return at that time.

our mission
Americans Overseas wants to make sure your path to compliance is a more simple, direct and cost-efficient one. We do this by providing information on tax matters for Americans living abroad. We connect Americans worldwide to the right tax specialists for their situation.

Do I owe any tax?

Most Americans living abroad who file tax returns with the IRS don’t have to pay any tax, due to tax treaties with the US that prevent double taxation. If there’s no treaty or the tax rate is lower in their country of residence, they may have to pay. An experienced CPA can reduce the amount due to zero in 90% of cases by properly preparing the return, including selecting the right forms such as Form 2555 (Foreign Earned Income Exclusion) and/or Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit), and considering differences in passive and active income.

In addition to filing a US tax return, one must also file an FBAR form. Unlike the US tax return, there is never any tax owed on the FBAR, it is simply a reporting to the US Treasury with information about (bank) accounts at financial institutions outside of America. It is important to know that despite there never being any tax owed, the penalties are exorbitantly high if an FBAR is filed incorrectly or not at all.

Streamlined Procedure filing services

Americans Overseas can assist with your U.S. tax return through their network of trustworthy and skilled CPAs who are carefully assessed for quality and cost-effectiveness. We cater to individuals with various financial situations, from straightforward to complex, including those who have multiple businesses in different countries. Our aim is to provide excellent tax returns at reasonable rates.

Contact us, free of charge and without any obligation and find out the best way to deal with your tax question(s). We are at your service.

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Based on the complexity of your situation, we’ll provide the right information that you need or set you up with a specialized tax advisor that will help you further.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the US tax system, the obligations and all the additional terms can be difficult. Especially if one lives outside of America. Is your question not answered? Contact us.