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I have US and Canadian citizenship but have only filed Canadian

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taxes over the past 40...
I have US and Canadian citizenship but have only filed Canadian taxes over the past 40 years. If I now need to file US taxes can I use intuit's US software to do so easily; i.e. will it take into consideration the tax treaty between the two countries). I would prefer not to have to do the US taxes by hand as I found it difficult to figure out which forms to fill out.
Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Tax
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
2/1/2012
Tax Professional: Lev, Tax Advisor replied 5 years ago
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,132
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Hi and welcome to Just Answer!

The US tax law requires US citizens - regardless where they live - to file the tax return and report all worldwide income. These law provisions are in effect for very long time. However recently they draw more public attention because of 2009 and 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiatives offered by the IRS.

The fact that Canada's finance minister is aggressively speaking out is another evidence of the growing public attention. That is also an evidence that more and more US citizens living in Canada become aware of IRS initiatives and less US citizens ignore these initiatives.

 

As an US citizen you have certain tax responsibilities with US taxing authorities. These responsibilities are separate from your Canadian responsibilities.
First of all, you have same filing requirements as all other US citizens regardless if you have any tax liabilities or not. Thus - you are required to file the US tax return and report all worldwide income.
Most likely - you do not owe any US taxes because (1) you are eligible to claim foreign earned income exclusion (2) for income which is taxable in the US and in Canada - you may claim a foreign tax credit.
Then - you are a subject of FBAR reporting if a foreign account value is above $10,000.The form to use is TD F 90-22.1 - this form is mailed separately.

I suggest filing your tax returns and clearing the situation. Generally - the IRS expects you to file tax returns at least for past six years. Note that if the foreign activity started more than six years ago, the IRS may also have the right to examine additional years. If you do not owe any taxes - it is unlikely you will pay any penalty.

Yes - you may use any tax preparation software. For instance - you may take from here - http://www.taxact.com/products/all_previous.asp

Let me know if you need any help.

Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 30,132
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Thank you for the above, it helps.
Does the tax prep. software you noted clearly provide places for income earned outside of the US and for the taxes paid to the country of residence.
Also, will taxact.com have an online product for the current tax year (2011) in the near future.
Tax Professional: Lev, Tax Advisor replied 5 years ago

Your income is reported the same way regardless if it was earned in the US or abroad.

You may only claim an exclusion for foreign earned income.

If for any reason the same income is taxed in both countries - you may claim a foreign tax credit - thus effectively will avoid double taxation on the same income.

 

You may use ANY tax preparation software - there is no difference.

Yes - TaxAct offers 2011 tax return software - see here - http://www.taxact.com/

Another very popular self preparation tax software is TurboTax - http://turbotax.intuit.com/

 

Let me know if you need any help.

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