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That's assets. I can no longer find the IRS web page where the numbers were given, but they are in the form 8938 instructions.
See also http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Comparison-of-Form-8938-and-FBAR-Requirements , as you probably already knew of the FBAR requirements (also regarding assets) with a much lower threshold ($10,000), and covering accounts on which you have signature authority, rather than accounts related to taxable income.
That IRS site is http://tinyurl.com/9aag3w9
The form 8938 instructions have a little more detail, but that's the one I found before.
If it's assets, $200k strikes me as a a rather low threshold, especially for people who've lived abroad for 20+ years.
Is that why people are so concerned?
I think more people are concerned about the requirement that their financial institutions report to the IRS, than about the individual reporting requirements. But, I really couldn't say.
Remember the FBAR reporting threshold is only $10K; there the Treasury Department (not the IRS) is looking for money laundering, rather than unreported incom
Well, that's a good point. How does a financial institution know if an individual is Us citizen?
a US citizen
Interesting question. I have no idea, unless the customer tells them.
As a dual citizen, i've always conducted by financial affairs as a Brit, with a UK national insurrance number, etc.
In principle, I suppose the rules apply to all US citizens, whether or not they're a dual citizen of the country in which they live.
If you deal with any financial institutions which are branches of a US financial institution, I suppose they would have to ask, because you do not have to report those under FATCA.
As you may already know, the US is one of only two countries which applies income tax to non-resident citizens on foreign (non-US) assets.
Just learning this stuff now, never paid attention to it.
Seems like there are three options:(1) report all matters to the IRS;(2) keep quite and hope to stay off the radar; or (3) give up US citizenship.
Pretty much, yes. As a tax preparer, I could not advise you to select option 2.
I've had some prospective US clients who wanted to keep some transactions "off the radar", and I would not prepare their returns.
Understood. As a tax preparer you cannot recommend any other course of action. Correct?
I cannot think of any other course of action which would be legal, and I cannot recommend illegal actions.
Exactly, I understand.
I should remind you of the disclaimer, though. "Posts are for general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (..., financial, etc.) and do not establish a professional-client relationship."
I know. Thanks for your help. This has has been very useful.