US expats in Thailand - FATCA and paying taxes - help!

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US expats in Thailand - FATCA and paying taxes - help!


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Old 18th November 2015, 08:12 AM
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Default US expats in Thailand - FATCA and paying taxes - help!

Hey there,

My problem really applies to an American expat living anywhere, so this perhaps belongs in a more general group, but I cant seem to find one. I am posting this in the Thailand forum as I currently live in Bangkok and paying Thai taxes.

I have recently been told about a thing called FATCA, and am feeling a little worried that I never knew about this. Under the FATCA law, US expats apparently have to file taxes with the IRS every year - something that I have not been doing for all the years I have been living abroad! (almost 5 now).

American friends I have spoken to are mostly not aware of this law either. So my question is, why do so many American expats unaware of this? Does this mean it is not being strongly enforced?

Also - I hold dual citizenship for both the US and the UK - why do I have to pay US taxes (on top of the Thai taxes I pay as I live and work here) but I dont have to pay UK taxes? It seems like this makes no sense!

I am anxious that I should probably contact the IRS, but am feeling a little nervous about this. It has come as a bit of a shock to hear that I have (apparently - and definitely unwittingly) been evading taxes for 5 years! Am I likely to receive an enormous fine?

Just curious to know if anyone knows much about this. Any help would be great!

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Old 19th November 2015, 12:03 AM
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You will need the services of an accountant experienced in these matters to sort this all out; the Embassy likely has a list of accountants in Thailand with such skills.

The short version: US citizens are taxed on their worldwide income. However, you have several things going in your favor:

1. the Foreign Earned Income Credit, which excludes foreign income from taxation. The amounts involved are fairly large:

If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to an amount of your foreign earnings that is adjusted annually for inflation ($92,900 for 2011, $95,100 for 2012, $97,600 for 2013, $99,200 for 2014 and $100,800 for 2015). In addition, you can exclude or deduct certain foreign housing amounts.

(https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inte...come-Exclusion)

2. The housing deduction which is somewhat more complex, but may be available to you;

3. The credit for foreign taxes paid-whatever you paid for income tax to Thailand, you can deduct from anything you owe to the US.

Forms for each of these are filed with your annual 1040, along with the FATCA form by which you provide information about foreign held bank accounts.

So relax and breathe easy, and contact the Embassy to find an accountant.

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Old 20th November 2015, 01:07 AM
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Here is the list of tax preparation consultants in Thailand from the US Embassy:

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/th...onsultants.pdf

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Old 20th November 2015, 09:55 AM
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Default Million dollar fine!

Hey. A friend recently shared this video with me:


Just thought I would post it here too as its a good intro, but also as the guy tells the story of a woman he knew who didnt know about FATCA, and then got a fine of a million bucks - so the IRS mean business with this!

Great job getting on this now, I'm new to the FATCA thing too and have only just started getting organized.

All the best with everything.

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