Non-US financial accounts or other overseas assets
It is not always the tax return itself that is the most important form to file. If you are a US citizen or Green Card Holder who lives outside the US or owns non-US financial accounts/other overseas assets, you may be required to report those assets to the IRS or the Treasury Department on separately filed ‘Information Reporting’ forms.
If you have moved outside the US and retained your US advisor, you should check that your advisor is aware of this requirement. In our experience, many US advisors fail to file these forms because they do not know about them or they forget to consider assets outside of the US. If this applies to you, then you will need to regularise your tax affairs as soon as possible, and Buzzacott has much experience in this area.
The penalties for non-compliance can be very severe. If you fail to file the necessary forms, you could face minimum ‘per-failure’ penalties or even a penalty based on the value of your assets. The risk is very real, not least because the IRS may have access to information relating to your overseas assets through its exchanges of information with financial institutions in other jurisdictions.