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Discussion Starter #1
A freind of mine is retired military who sent in a 1041A every year for his retired pay and always filed jointly(his wife is a dutch national with a ssn and she works for a dutch company and pays dutch taxes).he didn't know he had to file for his dutch income.Now he wants to get it straight but is being told when he does his 1040/2555 he should now file single.Is that okay?
Also he stopped working for his company and get a monthly paymentbecause he left voluntarily(not a pension as that starts here at 65).Can he get the foreign earned exclusion on his pay.
How many years back does he have to file and will he get penilized for not filing.
 

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I'm hoping you mistyped and mean that he has been filing 1040A's. A form 1041 is for estates and trusts.

If he's still married to his dutch wife, and living in the Netherlands (or anywhere outside the US) he should be filing as "married, filing separately" NOT as single. (Believe me, if I could file as "single" I would - but it's really frowned upon.)

The monthly payment he is getting from his former employer may or may not be subject to the FEIE - depends on quite a few things. Best to check Publication 54 for details.

If he has been filing a joint return these past years, he hasn't not been filing - but he may want to file amended returns for the last 4 years or so, if he thinks it's to his benefit to do so. Depends a bit on his situation - how much income he hasn't been declaring, whether or not he has been paying US taxes, whether or not filing jointly has made a material difference in his filing status etc. etc.

If he gets penalized for not filing - or for filing under the wrong status - the penalties are a percentage of the taxes due. If he didn't owe any taxes, there is no penalty. This is one of those moral dilemmas he'll have to work out for himself.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
filing jointly vs single

Yes it was a 1040A I can't read either.He has been paying taxes to the dutch on his dutch salary etc.He did the 1040A only because He had the mil.pension .
He wants to get everything straight so they don't come after him,should he amend his returns for 4-5 years or leave it the way it is and for the 2011 year file a 1040/2555/1116.
He told me( he has to get internet) he filed jointly because his wife has a social security no. and he thought he had to.
So this year he should file married filing singlely?

Thanks for your help.

Bernie

I'm hoping you mistyped and mean that he has been filing 1040A's. A form 1041 is for estates and trusts.

If he's still married to his dutch wife, and living in the Netherlands (or anywhere outside the US) he should be filing as "married, filing separately" NOT as single. (Believe me, if I could file as "single" I would - but it's really frowned upon.)

The monthly payment he is getting from his former employer may or may not be subject to the FEIE - depends on quite a few things. Best to check Publication 54 for details.

If he has been filing a joint return these past years, he hasn't not been filing - but he may want to file amended returns for the last 4 years or so, if he thinks it's to his benefit to do so. Depends a bit on his situation - how much income he hasn't been declaring, whether or not he has been paying US taxes, whether or not filing jointly has made a material difference in his filing status etc. etc.

If he gets penalized for not filing - or for filing under the wrong status - the penalties are a percentage of the taxes due. If he didn't owe any taxes, there is no penalty. This is one of those moral dilemmas he'll have to work out for himself.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If he's still married to his dutch wife, and living in the Netherlands (or anywhere outside the US) he should be filing as "married, filing separately" NOT as single. (Believe me, if I could file as "single" I would - but it's really frowned upon.)
Bev
Bev, my accountant filed my taxes as "Single". I believe he said that unless the other spouse is also actually filing a separate tax return (which he's not) then that's that way you do it. I thought it was odd, since I don't actually make any secret of the fact that I have a (non-resident) husband on my tax form or on my FBAR.

I'll ask him about it again before we file 2011, but in your experience you would say that I should not file Single?
 

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Bev, my accountant filed my taxes as "Single". I believe he said that unless the other spouse is also actually filing a separate tax return (which he's not) then that's that way you do it. I thought it was odd, since I don't actually make any secret of the fact that I have a (non-resident) husband on my tax form or on my FBAR.

I'll ask him about it again before we file 2011, but in your experience you would say that I should not file Single?
Would that I could file as single! I've been told that no, you cannot file as single if you are married (to an NRA even). If your accountant knows differently, I'd love to hear what his authoritative source for that is.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Yes it was a 1040A I can't read either.He has been paying taxes to the dutch on his dutch salary etc.He did the 1040A only because He had the mil.pension .
He wants to get everything straight so they don't come after him,should he amend his returns for 4-5 years or leave it the way it is and for the 2011 year file a 1040/2555/1116.
He told me( he has to get internet) he filed jointly because his wife has a social security no. and he thought he had to.
So this year he should file married filing singlely?

Thanks for your help.

Bernie
The chances of them "coming after him" are pretty remote unless he is somehow hiding income that is taxable. (And filing jointly with his wife, he should have declared ALL his worldwide income and all hers, too.)

If it makes him feel better, he can amend the last 3 or 4 years of returns. Chances are he'll owe no taxes, and if it makes him sleep more soundly at night, then it's probably worth the effort. But he could just file his 2011 return correctly and wait to see if the IRS comes back and asks any questions. (Unless there is evidence that he owes back taxes, I suspect they'll just leave him alone.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the info I'll pass on to him.

Thanks

Bernie
The chances of them "coming after him" are pretty remote unless he is somehow hiding income that is taxable. (And filing jointly with his wife, he should have declared ALL his worldwide income and all hers, too.)

If it makes him feel better, he can amend the last 3 or 4 years of returns. Chances are he'll owe no taxes, and if it makes him sleep more soundly at night, then it's probably worth the effort. But he could just file his 2011 return correctly and wait to see if the IRS comes back and asks any questions. (Unless there is evidence that he owes back taxes, I suspect they'll just leave him alone.)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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