Information for U.S. Citizens or Dual Citizens Residing Outside the U.S.
FS-2011-13, December 2011
The IRS is aware that some taxpayers who are dual citizens of the United States and a foreign country may have failed to timely file United States federal income tax returns or Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs), despite being required to do so. Some of those taxpayers are now aware of their filing obligations and seek to come into compliance with the law. This fact sheet summarizes information about federal income tax return and FBAR filing requirements, how to file a federal income tax return or FBAR, and potential penalties.
Note that penalties will not be imposed in all cases. As discussed in more detail below, taxpayers who owe no U.S. tax (e.g., due to the application of the foreign earned income exclusion or foreign tax credits) will owe no failure to file or failure to pay penalties. In addition, no FBAR penalty applies in the case of a violation that the IRS determines was due to reasonable cause.
This fact sheet is provided for information purposes only, and the topics discussed may or may not apply to a particular taxpayer’s situation. The IRS continues to consider the topics discussed in this fact sheet and will provide additional information as it becomes available.