Filing Back Taxes

Streamlined Program & Other Options For Compliance

Catching Up On Back Taxes – How To Get Back In Compliance

Many Americans abroad are unaware that they still need to file taxes in the United States and report foreign financial accounts via FinCen114 (FBAR).

But neglecting your US taxes can turn into a major hassle down the road. If you haven’t filed and need to file back taxes, don’t put it off! If the IRS discovers your non-compliance, you may face severe penalties and interest. The US can even refuse to renew your passport or detain you at the border if you owe significant back taxes.

While this may sound scary, there are options available in order to get you back into compliance. Coming forward voluntarily and tackling back taxes with the help of experts may allows you to minimize or even avoid penalties.

Once I realized my mistake, I contacted various expat tax services. Only Online Taxman was able to provide a clear cut and affordable process for my filing.

I was certainly overwhelmed at first by the prospect of trying to make up for my delinquent US tax situation, but Micheal and John walked me through the whole process, punctually and clearly answering all my questions along the way. I will absolutely go back to these guys again for the upcoming tax years!

Dylan Butler, Oman

Typical Questions We Often Answer

  • How many years do I have to back file?
  • Can I just quietly submit the missing returns?
  • I filed taxes but no FBAR, can I still use the streamlined program?
  • Will I owe penalties and interest on my late filing?
  • What if I filed as an expat but missed certain informational returns?
  • What if I live in the US but was not aware of disclosing my non-US income and accounts?

Options For Filing Back Taxes

Delinquent tax filers can use the Streamlined Program or file missing returns quietly. Taxpayers that willfully did not file even though they were aware of their filing obligations, and have significant undisclosed assets, cannot use those approaches. They would have to go through the new voluntary disclosure practice for offshore assets that the IRS recently launched to replace a discontinued disclosure program.

Each approach has unique requirements as well as pros and cons.

We can walk you through each option, explain how it would apply to you, and help you choose the one that best fits your specific tax situation.


Streamlined Program

This is by far the most common way to catch up on back taxes for filers who are considered low risk. It requires filing 3 years of back taxes, and 6 years of FBAR filings, and signing a sworn affidavit. The penalties for late filing on both the returns and FBAR will be waived under this program, although you will have to pay interest on any tax due.

Quiet Disclosure

This is not an official IRS program. It generally involves filing at least 3 years of back taxes and 6 years of FBAR without formally notifying the IRS. While this sounds simple, it may put you at greater risk of further scrutiny and provides no waiver of penalties.


OVPD - Replacement

The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) was closed in 2018. The new voluntary disclosure practice for offshore assets is for taxpayers who willfully failed to report those assets.

Unlike with the old ODVP, the IRS examiner can now impose significant tax penalties and even criminal charges. This approach carries significant risks and costs.

Next Step - Schedule A Consultation With Us

During the consultation we assess your tax situation and will provide you with a quote. In most cases, using the IRS Streamlined Program is the best option. Our quote will typically include filing the required prior years plus the current year. Our transparent, fixed fee pricing means you won’t have any surprises.

The different options for filing back taxes have unique risks and benefits.

We’ve helped hundreds of delinquent US-taxpayers get back into compliance and tens of thousands of dollars in potential penalties.