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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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. I have a very minimal income in the US, and my (ex) ...

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. I have a very minimal income in the US, and my (ex) husband''s income unfortunately was never above 80 thousand….so I thought what was the point. Since January 9, 2003 I have been divorced and after my divorce I received alimony for a few months. I gave up my right to alimony when I cohabitated with my current partner. Since then we do not file joint (Dutch) tax returns but I do file Dutch returns. I make an extremely minimum income….and the last two years I did not have to file in Holland
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello benjamina,

I am not clear on what your question is. Are you asking if you need to file a tax return in the US?

Are you a US citizen currently living in Netherlands or are you a non US citizen? What is the source of your US income and the approximate amount per year?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am US citizen living in the netherlands for 28 years (I am 51) The source of US income is some stocks and bonds, money market etc....which amounts to a few thousand a year. I was under the impression that all US citizens must file regardless of where they live and how much they make
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am US citizen living in the netherlands for 28 years (I am 51) The source of US income is some stocks and bonds, money market etc....which amounts to a few thousand a year. I was under the impression that all US citizens must file regardless of where they live and how much they make
Customer(Online)
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.
Hello again Benjamina,

As a US citizen living abroad, you are subject to the same filing requirements as every other US citizen. You are also subject to reporting your income not only from US sources, but also any foreign income that you earn. However, if you do not meet the minimum income requirements for filing a US tax return, then you do not need to file a US tax return for any year that the minimum income is not met.

If you are single and under age 65 and your total income from all sources is less then $8,750, then you do not need to file a US return. If you are married filing a separate return at any age, your minimum income for reporting is $3,400. If you are married filing a joint return and both spouses are under age 65, your minimum income for reporting is $17,500.

If your income exceeds these levels, then you are required to file a US tax return. However, if you are a permanent resident of the Netherlands, you would qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, whereby you could exclude up to a total of $85,700 of your foreign earnings.

If this answer has been helpful, kindly press the "Accept" key. Positive feedback is also greatly appreciated.

Thanks and let me know if you need more help.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Merlo's Post: my ex husband was dutch....so he doesn't count does he?
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.
If you are currently divorced, then your ex-husband has nothing to do with the filing status of your return.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i am currently divorced but i was married for 20 years when i didn't file...does he count because he was (and still is) a dutch citizen
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.
If you are a US citizen and you are currently divorced, then you will file your return as single or head of household if you qualify. If you are remarried, you can file a joint return with your new husband, or you can file as "married filing separately". It does not matter how long you were married to your ex-husband and it does not matter what his nationality is.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Merlo's Post: yes but i didn't file for the 20 years or so i was married....can they fine me for not filing, and if so, what is the maximum they could fine me

i so appreciate your answers
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.
During the time you were married, did you personally have income which was above the level that would have required you to file?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Merlo's Post: no
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
but had i filed, when i was married would i have had to include his income even though he is Dutch
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello again benjamina,

No, you could have filed a return as "married filing separately" thereby avoiding having to include his income. That is what most citizens married to an alien do in your case. So you should be okay for past years that you did not file.

If this has been helpful, kindly press the Accept key. Positive feedback is also appreciated.

Thanks!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
but can i be fined for not filing for 28 years, and if so how much can it be?
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello again Benjamina,

You are only required to file a return for those years where your personal income exceeded the minimum levels set for reporting requirements by the IRS. I gave you the current levels in an earlier post. For previous years the levels would hve been slightly lower, as they are adjusted each year to account for the current exemption amounts.

Even though you were married and your husband had a larger income, you could have filed with a filing status of "married filing separate return" which means you would only have had to report your personal income, and not had to include your husband's income. So if your personal income was below the minimum levels required for reporting, then a return did not need to be filed and there would be no fines or penalties.

If you had years which your personal income exceeded the minimum levels required for reporting and did not file a return, then if you now go back and file a return for those years, you may be subject to penalties for late filing and penalties and interest on any amount of tax which you may owe. The penalty and interest rates are adjusted quarterly. If it ends up you do not owe any tax, then there would be no penalty or interest to pay. I am giving you a link below that outlines the various penalty and interest rates if they would apply.

If this has been helpful, please press the Accept key so I can receive credit for my time. Thank you.

http://www.wwwebtax.com/payments/penalties_and_interest.htm

 

Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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