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Under new act, US expats will have to file tax returns
Under new act, US expats will have to file tax returns

RIYADH: The introduction of Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in the Kingdom will have an impact on more than 200,000 US citizens living in Saudi Arabia.

“The act will come into force when a government-to-government agreement is signed shortly between the Kingdom and the United States,” Rupert Agius-Pease, head of tax and legal services at KPMG in Saudi Arabia, said at a press conference in Riyadh on Tuesday.
US citizens and Green Card holders, whether they live in the US or abroad, are required by US tax law, to file US tax returns and report their worldwide income. Furthermore, US citizens and Green Card holders are required to disclose to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information regarding their foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets.
Agius-Pease also pointed out that the requirements to file US tax returns by US citizens living outside the US have existed for a long time, before the introduction of FATCA. The act was introduced by the US government to ensure that US citizens living abroad comply with US tax requirements.
The seminar was presented by professionals from KPMG who explained in detail the US tax exemptions and deductions available to US citizens working and living outside the US, the mechanics of filing US tax returns, including filing due dates and the penalties and fines imposed for failure to comply with the US tax filing requirements.
The seminar pointed out that the deadline for filing US tax returns is generally April 15. However, individuals living outside the US can automatically extend their due date to June 15 and may also request an additional extension of time to Oct. 15.
Agius-Pease also talked about the requirement for US citizens who are associated with, or shareholders in, foreign corporations or partnerships who may be required to disclose to the IRS certain information about the foreign corporation or partnership. He recommended that US individuals who believe that these requirements may apply to them should consult their tax advisers to determine if disclosure is necessary and what information must be disclosed to avoid unnecessary penalties or inclusion of income.
He emphasized the importance of the current voluntary disclosure program being offered by the IRS to US individuals living outside the US. The individuals come forward and comply with their US tax filing requirements in exchange for waiver of certain penalties and interest.
When the voluntary disclosure program was implemented in 2009 the IRS received more than 45,000 voluntary disclosures and collected about $6.5 billion in taxes, interest and penalties.


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