Penalty abatement, reasonable cause, and the facts that support reasonable cause
The Isaac Brock is a wonderful forum for discussion. It is also a wonderful resource. A resource that will alert you to issues that may be relevant to your compliance. Some readers are clearly grappling with the best way to come into compliance . This involves tax or information returns or both. The Isaac Brock Society has been fortunate to have had contributions from two lawyers: Roy Berg in Alberta and Steven Mopsick in California. Their thoughts and contributions have been greatly appreciated.
In the December 2011 FS the IRS made it clear that penalties could be abated if the taxpayer were able to show “reasonable cause”.
To use the language of Mr. Mopsick:
For those in the second category, here is a thought from a 30 year IRS veteran attorney. The name of the game here is the abatement of civil penalties (assuming your tax problems do not arise from an illegal activity). Under widely recognized IRS procedures, civil penalties can be abated upon a showing of reasonable cause. That could mean reliance on the wrong advice of a professional, or ignorance of the law, say for someone who has lived in Canada all their lives and is an “accidental” US citizens who never had any reason to know about FBARs or FATCA.
In the words of Mr. Berg:
Certain arguments under “reasonable cause” are supported by case law and statutory law (e.g., reliance on advisors, information unavailable, ignorance, etc.), but the elements of these defenses must be set forth in the accompanying letter. Without addressing the elements of the defense, the IRS can easily deny the defense.
Likewise, certain arguments under “reasonable cause” are NOT SUPPORTED in the law. If you don’t use the correct argument, the IRS WILL deny the defense and assert penalties.
Further, if the facts used to support reasonable cause argument are false or misleading, that can constitute criminal conduct.
Finally, as Mr. Mopsick notes, there are additional penalties ($5,000 in fact) for advancing a frivolous position.
Everyone needs to be advised to proceed with extreme caution.
The message is clear. That said, there remains the question of “what are the facts that will support an argument for “reasonable cause”.
And: what are the facts that will NOT support an argument for “reasonable cause”?
Facts that may support reasonable cause
On the issue of facts that WILL support “reasonable cause” I recommend the following post by Roy Berg where he writes that:
Late on December 7, 2011 the IRS issued Fact Sheet 2011-13 (“Information for U.S. Citizens or Dual Citizens Residing Outside the U.S.”), which provides important guidance on two matters for taxpayers residing outside of the U.S.: first it gives insight into the type of facts that would support a “reasonable cause” argument for the abatement of penalties. Second, it clarifies the procedure to bring current unfiled returns, thereby confirming the IRS’s disdain for “quiet disclosures.” The guidance provided by the Fact Sheet makes clear the importance of engaging a professional who is experienced in these matters.
Facts likely to support a “reasonable cause” argument for the abatement of penalties
Many of the penalties faced by individuals who haven’t filed their U.S. returns may be reduced to zero provided the taxpayer can prove reasonable cause for not filing. Reasonable cause is a legal doctrine, the application of which is determined by all of the facts and circumstances surrounding the taxpayer’s failure to file. Particular facts that support its application are found in case law, administrative interpretations, the statutes, and the treasury regulations.
The taxpayer was unaware of his U.S. filing obligations
Depending on the particular facts, one of the theories that may support a finding of reasonable cause is that the taxpayer was unaware of his filing obligations. The Fact Sheet lists several facts that the IRS will, apparently, weigh more heavily than others in determining whether being unaware is sufficient to support the “reasonable cause” argument, including:
- The taxpayer’s education;
- Whether the taxpayer has previously been subject to the tax for which the return has not been filed;
- Whether the taxpayer has been penalized before;
- Whether there were recent changes in the tax forms or law the taxpayer could not reasonably be expected to know; and
- The level of complexity of a tax or compliance issue.
The Fact Sheet then gives several examples, the facts of which support a finding of reasonable cause, the most telling of which is Example 4. Under Example 4 the IRS concludes that reasonable cause is shown based on the following facts:
· The taxpayer complied with tax filing and payment obligations in his country of residence;
· He was previously unaware of his U.S. filing obligations;
· After discovering his U.S. filing obligations he filed his previously unfiled returns;
· He attached a statement to his returns setting forth his reasonable cause argument;
· He had a legitimate reason for maintaining non-U.S. accounts;
· There was no indication that he had taken efforts to intentionally conceal the reporting of income or assets; and
· There was no additional U.S. tax due.
In making the reasonable cause argument, it is critically important to analyze the facts, support the facts with affidavits or other evidence, and to make sure that the facts are supported by existing law. A U.S. lawyer who is experienced with the foregoing is an essential component to prevailing on reasonable cause argument.
A similar article is here.
Facts that will NOT support reasonable cause
My question for Mr. Berg and Mr. Mopsick is:
“What are the facts that will NOT support an argument for reasonable cause?”
Your comments would be most appreciated.
Helpful article on the IRS Willful Civil Penalty (4/10/13)
Steven Toscher and Lacey Strachan, Proving Wilfullness in Civil FBAR Cases (Los Angeles Lawyer April 2003), here. Excerpt – the Conclusion:
The Williams and McBride decisions do not substantially alter the analysis of the types of cases in which the willful penalty will apply, but the dicta in the cases, which suggest that a recklessness standard may apply and impose a lesser burden of proof on the government, will no doubt fuel the government to be more aggressive in selection of the cases that it proceeds with on a willfulness penalty. That, unfortunately, is the way of the common law, and ultimately the courts will ﬁnd the right balance based upon the facts of the individual cases. However, for now, practitioners should anticipate a more aggressive government stance on the imposition of the willful FBAR penalty.
JAT Comments: The cases do have dicta and off the cuff comments that more thoughtful courts might view differently in different fact circumstances. I listened in on a tax webinar today on opting out (see here). John McDonald, a principal IRS spokesman for its offshore account initiatives, indicated that there is some hyperbole about what these courts said or at least said seriously (my interpretation of what McDonald said). He said: merely checking the box “no” on Schedule B is not proof per se — much less conclusive proof per se — of willfulness or, perhaps even the absence of a mitigating circumstance for the nonwillful penalty or reasonable cause relief. The IRS must have much more nuance facts and circumstances establishing willfulness before it will assert the willful penalty. I don’t know that the authors of this article really say anything different than that, but I just wanted to say it my way.
I often wonder if civil FBAR penalties are going to become regularly assessed for delinquent filing once online filing becomes mandatory after 1July 2013. It will certainly make their job much easier.
@Not that Lisa, I think the worst problems are the predatory attorneys. So sorry to hear of your woes though at least it sounds as though you will have suffered less damage from the IRS, themselves, though agree with how frustrating the limbo period is.
Tax Notes Today has an article summarizing the webinar regarding FBAR penalties and willfulness I was speaking about above > Few Have Been Disqualified From OVDP After Being Previously Cleared, Officials say……
Cases like Williams and McBride will no doubt fuel the government to be more aggressive in selection of the cases that it proceeds with on a willful penalty. Considering a recent court decision on the standard of willfulness, Caroline D. Ciraolo of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP deemed United States v. McBride, No. 2:09-cv-00378 (D. Utah 2012) , “a tough case.” She said the decision seems to suggest that once the government has proved that an individual has signed the return, it has proven willfulness. The court makes that leap by noting that if an individual signed the return, the individual read the return and had knowledge of its contents and must have known about the report of foreign bank and financial accounts, she said. Ciraolo said that willfulness is then asserted because the taxpayer did not indicate an interest in a foreign account on Schedule B and prepare a foreign bank account report.
Ciraolo called that “a scary argument” but said she would not tell clients that they will be hit with a willfulness penalty if they sign a return. “I think it was a case of bad facts making bad law,” she said, adding that the IRS is generally reasonable and is still likely to consider all the facts and circumstances of every case……. yeah right 🙂
McDougal said that he does not read McBride as providing strong support for a per se willfulness penalty. In that case, he said, the judge gave importance to the type of transaction the individual entered into, concluding that it was so inherently risky that the taxpayer was on notice that he would need to read the return carefully. The IRS is training agents not to assert willfulness penalties based on failure to check the box on Schedule B, McDougal said. Instead, they should make a unique evaluation of the taxpayer, considering factors like the individual’s level of training and the nature of the activity, he said. McDougal said that agents will consider all the facts and circumstances, but the IRS may try to make the case for willful blindness if the transaction is “the kind that you should be nervous about.”
My take is still that checking the box no and not including the offshore account income is not per se proof of willfulness.
My husband and I had never signed a US tax return prior to OVDI, let alone not ticked a box!
First time posting here.
I noticed my name came up in this thread and although this isn’t the best place to post this, I am hoping for some clear-eyed advice. I am a US green card holder and Canadian citizen. (Originally I am from a European country). I lived in Canada for just under 5 years, being a green card holder, married to a US citizen both before and after my stay in Canada. (Sadly we did not do well economically in Canada – no fault of Canada, just bad luck & unfortunate circumstances – which is why we returned to the US).
As mentioned on this thread, I estimate that we owe (at most) $300 in tax. However, as I am now back in the US and hopeful of getting my citizenship one day – if only to vote these folks out of office – I am taking a cautious stance. Unlike many here, my circumstances are a little more complex – I had a both partnership and corporation in Canada, and this raises the level of complexity to dizzying heights. Note that these were both ill-fated businesses that never made much money, but we are still required to file the same forms as, say, IBM or Apple. This also raises our risk profile, as does the fact that my spouse has an accounting degree acquired immediately before our move to Canada (unused, but still – it doesn’t help with the “reasonable cause” argument).
So far we have spent USD13500 with our accountants with very little to show for it. We are advising them half the time!!! However, we cannot do forms like the 5471 and 8865 ourselves – we tried, believe me. But we are worried that starting over with another lawyer/accountant will end up costing us a whole lot more. Given that our penalties through OVDI are on the order of almost USD 40k, we are seriously considering a QD. The professional fees and IRS penalties will take a large chunk of our total net worth – and we are middle-aged, and I am unfortunately in poor health so don’t expect to be able to keep socking money away into my retirement fund for the next 20 years. It may take us 10 years to make that money back.
So – should we do the OVDI and opt out (means lots more money in fees), do QD, do GF only (we have no offshore assets at all now – we just liquidated our RRSPs this year to help pay for this mess), or just suck it up given that I am risking my potential US citizenship? We want to come into compliance, but this will wipe out our entire emergency and short-term savings. Of course, being back in the US, we do not qualify for any kind of streamlined program. I wish we did.
We have been at this since September of last year. My health is seriously affected, my spouse is also suffering and there have been times when I seriously wonder if I should just go jump off a bridge. I have no idea where we will get the resources (financial, mental, emotional and physical) to get through this. All support, suggestions and assistance welcome. Sorry for writing such a long post!
Sorry to hear about your health and the myriad of unpleasant options you are facing. You can vent as long as you like here-we’ve all been there. Please don’t think of jumping off a bridge, it just isn’t worth it. You will get through this.
If you only owe $300 tax, I can’t imagine you’d really want to do OVDI. Since you are CDN you might consider that many dual US-CDNs just went ahead and filed, given what the IRS’ Dec 2011 Fact Statement listed. There were rumors that the IRS was looking the other way at CDN returns that had low balances. Stay away from the streamlined program. It’s not straighforward in the least. There’s certainly risk with just going forward.
What has this professional done for you for $13,500? If nothing, I don’t think it makes sense to drop more money down a hole, especially if you expect penalties.
Have you examined all/any options other than remaining in the US? Has your spouse filed US returns while in Canada? Do you still hold citizenship of the European country of your birth? Could you relocate there and protect your savings? Does your spouse have a second citizenship? Are you sure you want to become a US citizen?
As we are in the US, the streamlined program is not available to us anyway. For various reasons, relocating to another country is not really an option at this time. My main concern is whether we should do QD with reasonable cause letters or stick it out with the OVDI. Also we are using accountants, not lawyers so we do not have the benefit of privilege protection.
If we do the QD route, should we do all applicable years that needed amending/forms? That’s 7 years. Or would we file 6 years of FBARs/5471s, etc.& 3 years of returns? Bear in mind that we are resident in the US.
Re: jumping off a bridge – I speak figuratively, but in the dark, wee hours of the night one is sometimes tempted …. 🙂
Read the OVDI drudgery for minnows here:
Regardless of the official message from the IRS that OVDI is the only way to come into compliance, there are other ways, even if streamline is not available to us.
If you choose OVDI, and don’t want to be ruined by the in-lieu of penalty, you’re going to opt out, since you don’t seem to have material criminal risk, as Jack Townsend puts it (but I am not a lawyer 😉
QDs and filing correctly forward seem appropriate options in your case. Jack Townsend says that currently, for someone with no criminal exposure, the result of opting out of OVDI or being audited with a QD or filing forward should be the same. So why put yourself in 2 years of OVDI hell.
If you choose a quiet disclosure, the statute of limitation is 3 years for amended returns and 6 for FBARs.
The IRS has always said they’re monitoring such QDs, and it’s been reinforced in the latest GAQ report.
Filing forward, especially is you don’t have any more foreign accounts looks like it might be the safest choice for you.
The only unknown is the possible immigration consequences if we’re audited. Based on what the IRS might do, could this prevent us from acquiring US citizenship, or even get us deported for “moral turpitude”.
I haven’t found the answer to that.
If my memory serves you are a “Green Card Holder”.
Here is a site you might find interesting:
Although they seem to be concerned with getting people into the U.S., it might be worth contacting them on the FBAR issue vis-a-vis green card holders.
Thanks, USCitizenAbroad, I will look at it and contact them.
Some thoughts here:
The statute of limitations on your return would not start until you have filed the 5471. For that reason an attempt to clean up the past means that you are not subject to the 3 year rule on tax returns. That said, don’ panic.
Here is what I think you should do. Begin by actually doing all tax returns and FBARs for a 6 year period. Your comment does NOT make clear whether you have actually done this or not. I understand your concern about the corporation. The corporation has both information reporting and tax implications. You have identified the problem of the 5471. Although the penalties can be waived on this (reasonable cause) you need to be careful of automatic penalty assessments. On the tax side, the real question is whether there is any income earned by the corporation that will be attributed to you under the SubPart F rules. You said that the corporation did not make any money. Hence, I infer that it has no investment income (dividends, interest, rent) that would create attribution problems for you. But, you can see why you need a look at the whole picture.
Also consider the PFIC issues (mutual funds, TFSA, RRSPs where the 8891 was not filed).
Completing the 5471 is a different issue from determining any income from the corporation. You need to get the income figured out independently without the your accountants because you can’t know what to do without knowing what your tax situation looks like. As you point out, accountants do NOT give you privilege and are subject to Circular 230 obligations.
Once you have six years of returns in front of you and you have completed 6 years of FBARs (don’t forget that you need to include the company and partnership accounts) for this you are in a position to have a good look at what is happening. Ask yourself: Is there any undeclared income from any accounts that should have been reported on the FBAR?
Once you have this information, you need to consider your options with an objective advisor. Remember under (I think) FAQ 17 of OVDP if you do NOT owe tax you are told specifically to just file the FBARs and 5471s (this would be your best case scenario). If you cannot get in under this, then you have some decisions to make. Given what you have said, it is in inconceivable to me that OVDP is the option for you (or anybody else).
This means that you are left with 3 options:
1. File amended returns and FBARs without a reasonable cause letter – what is understood to be a QD.
2. File amended returns and FBARs with a reasonable cause letter (if there were significant tax owing this should be considered).
3. Just file properly going forward which you should do anyway.
This is going to come down to two things:
1. whether it could be reasonably perceived that you were using the corporation (in their word “Entity”) as a sacred instrument of tax evasion (which you obviously weren’t).
2. Whether you owe tax and if so from what kind of source
Finally, you mention that you want U.S. citizenship (not sure why, but anyway). There are some advisors who link the FBAR issue to the citizenship issue (you can’t have committed crimes of moral turpitude, etc.). Watch the comments of Mark Matthews in the video on this post:
In closing: I think you are putting too much significance on the fact that your husband has an accounting background. Nobody except a select group of people in Canada (and even the US) knew of FBARs and many other information returns. There are people in OVDI who had the benefit of expensive professional advice and are also professionals.
Hope this is of help to you.
Mr. Hom and his fight against Kathryn Keneally DOJ
…… “I will note that the penalty seems relatively light, at least compared to some of the Government’s swashbuckling assertions of the willful penalty in far less egregious cases”….
I disagree with the first part of this opinion and the author has become very cynical indeed !
What is so egregious in this case ?
1. Failure to file a 1040 for 2007 (was there even a federal income tax liability or was he even below the income threshold to file for this year ? ….. details missing )
2. “aggregate amounts exceeded $10,000 at some point in 2006 and 2007″……. no mention of specific $details here, like max. account balances p.a. etc.
3. 2006 … $44K 1 online poker tournament winning (I speculate the high balance for 2006 & 2007 but was disclosed on Schedule C in 2006)
4. did he commit any Title 26 civil tax penalties with regards to the 3 foreign accounts in 2006 and/or 2007 ?
5. when (date) did the IRS open up an examination (tax audit) ? ( amazing how many details are missing in such a document from a US District Court ….. of course JAT would say now, since Mr. Hom represented himself and did not “invest” $20K+ in “quality” legal representation that many of the issues are not properly refined and well-briefed ! …. I would counter that Mr. Hom was well advised to keep his powder dry and save it for the right moment.)
6. Mr. Hom filed “tardily” his FBARs for 2006/7 in 6/2010 but did not include the FirePay account ? ( he filed after the tax audit started)
7. he did not seek advice from “professionals” (tax attorney,CPAs etc.) …..amazing that DOJ openly admits that taxpayers need paid professional advice and not read the IRS website or seek IRS assistance by phone to understand certain filing requirements , not to mention that seeking professional advice was by no means a guarantee in 2006/07 to be of any help with regards to the filing of FBARs.
Both the GAO and the IRS’ own internal watchdog agency have given the IRS poor marks for its outreach and education efforts.
Mr. Hom is a non exceptional, ordinary taxpayer with no exotic financial instruments hidden away in offshore tax shelter accounts. He has no other formal structures, corporations, trusts, foundations or entities affiliated with any of the accounts. The nature of all accounts are simple , with no power of attorneys, parent, entity or corporate account holders. He does not participate in any exotic investment instruments like credit default swaps, offshore hedge funds, offshore feeder funds, offshore master funds, offshore money laundering funds, PFICs, or special purpose investment vehicles (SIVs). In other words, his financial arrangements are plain vanilla for ordinary people living fairly ordinary lives .
The IRS went for the max. statuatory NW penalties of $10K per account and violation.
Are you saying “relatively light” because you think it could have been willful penalties because of a) the Schedule B Part III 7b) question or because b) online gambling is a crime for USPs (2006 UIEGA) or because of c) other Title 26 penalties already assessed in the earlier tax audit (the BSA violation was in furtherance of the Title 26 violation) or because d) Mr. Hom annoyed Mrs. Keneally by bringing suit for damages for alleged IRS violations of Section 6103 ? (speculation as to KKs improper motives which of course do not rise to the level of evidence sufficient to state a triable issue of facts)
Since the account balances seem relatively low the penalties are disproportionate both in amount and severity. For argument sake in a plea agreement even the 50% of max balance would have only netted $22K for the “Service” .
Shows again the clear bias in favor of asserting max. FBAR penalties even for a Minnow like Mr. Hom and the trend away from voluntary compliance as the primary purpose of civil tax penalties . Again, the real message here is that the IRS views FBAR penalties as a revenue source plain and simple.
btw. page 8 line 1 should read June 30,2007…….Mrs. K. Keneally is nobody reading this before it gets published ??
page 17 line 7 …. according to the information provided by the document Mr. Hom did not file a 1040 for 2007 that is for 1 tax year which is singular , why does the DOJ refer to ” tax returns” which is plural is beyond me .
And finally I would like to offer at least 2 reasonable cause arguments for Mr. Hum for the removal of all FBAR penalties :
1. Honest Misunderstanding (IRM .22.214.171.124.2.2.3) : A taxpayer`s misunderstanding of fact or law may constitute reasonable cause and good faith include an honest misunderstanding of fact or law that is reasonable in light of all of the facts and circumstances.
2. Ignorance of the law (IRM. 126.96.36.199.2.2.6) : The 26,000-page tax code of 1986 has grown to more than 70,000 pages. In the last decade alone, there have been more than 4,400 changes to the code – more than one a day.
A taxpayer`s ignorance of the law may give rise to reasonable cause. The IRS Penalty Handbook acknowledges that in some instances taxpayers may not be aware of specific obligations to file and / or pay taxes. It further acknowledges that reasonable cause “may be established if the taxpayer shows ignorance of the law in conjunction with other facts and circumstances”, such as the level of complexity of a tax or compliance issue. The IRS Penalty Handbook also recognizes that a taxpayer may have reasonable cause for non-compliance if the taxpayer was unaware of a requirement and could not reasonably be expected to know the requirement.
(3) If he would have followed the advice from DOJ and would have sought the help of a CPA I would wager a bet that > 75% of CPAs and EAs in 2007 would have not told him about his filing obligations with regards to FBARs and very likely would have not seen internet gambling accounts as a “foreign” reportable event…
Reasonable reliance (IRM. 188.8.131.52.2.2.5) : A taxpayer`s reasonable reliance on an independent, qualified, fully-informed tax professional often reaches the level of reasonable cause. For purposes of the reasonable-reliance defense, the regulations broadly define the concept of “advice” to cover “any communication” from a qualified advisor and clarify that advice does not have to be in any particular form.
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Useful advice here which an individual can use:
“First-Time Penalty Abatement (IRM §184.108.40.206.6.1)
The IRM contains first-time abate (FTA) procedures that allow IRS employees to remove failure-to-file, failure-to-pay, and failure-to-deposit penalties from a taxpayer’s account if they meet certain criteria. The policy behind this procedure is to reward taxpayers for having a clean compliance history—everyone is entitled to one mistake.
To qualify for an FTA, a taxpayer must not have been required to file a return or must have no prior penalties (except an estimated tax penalty) for the preceding three years, must have had no penalties added to or removed from its account for the past three years, must have filed (or filed a valid extension for) all required returns, and must have paid, or arranged to pay, any tax due.
An FTA can save a taxpayer thousands of dollars, and sometimes it can be obtained over the phone. IRS employees can usually pull up the taxpayer’s account and quickly determine whether the taxpayer meets the criteria. The clincher is an FTA is granted only to taxpayers that request one. Thus, knowing about this penalty relief procedure is imperative, but it is not mentioned anywhere in IRS guidance, only in the IRM. A practitioner may call the Practitioner Priority Service line (866-860-4259) or the number on the client’s notice to request an FTA (Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, is required).
Note that if a client does not meet the FTA requirements, a CPA should review the IRS’s reasonable-cause criteria (see IRM, Part 20, Penalty and Interest). Penalty abatement is based on the client’s facts and circumstances. The IRM outlines common scenarios that constitute reasonable cause, such as reliance on a tax professional or a death, serious illness, or unavoidable absence of the taxpayer or a member of his or her family. “………
” Why the Internal Revenue Manual Is Valuable to Your Clients
TAX PRACTICE & PROCEDURES
by Susan C. Allen, CPA/CITP, CGMA, Durham, N.C.
Published April 01, 2015 “
I imagine with Streamlined you still maintain your free get of jail card (FTA)?
@bubblebustin as to @badger on First Time Abatement….
Wait just a minute: could the Streamlined program is somehow be a re-branding of the FTA process?
Could be, Jefferson. Who knows? When we first talked to TAS after we entered OVDI, our agent mentioned FTA, but that was before Streamlined was created.
I’ve also read about people who may have a good chance of overturning a penalty outside of FTA being pushed by their IRS agent into the FTA program instead. What’s convenient and most cost-effective for the IRS could potentially deny a taxpayer the FTA in the future, should the taxpayer actually need it.
I just came across this site and got the impression that its is reputable and credible and that I will probably receive an answere I can count on . I realize that the last comment was posted in July 2015 but …it doesnt hurt to try 🙂
I am a dual citizen permanently living overseas for the past 40 years and was not aware of the law which requires all citizens to file income tax forms .
I determined that the SFO Streamlined Procedure seems to be a good way to come clean for past delinquency without fear of penalties
However, I read (in a post) that this procedure is available only to people who DO NOT owe taxes.
Is this true and if YES what are my other options .
Welcome to Brock.
As far as I am aware the streamlined program has been used successfully in a variety of situations.
You should ask your question on the ‘expat taxes and fbar’ section of this website (Rt hand column ) which is much more frequently visited and will glean more pertinent responses to your question.
No, it is NOT true under the current streamlines. You can owe taxes. But, you should get personalized legal advice. Do NOT rely entirely on blogs.
You say that you have lived abroad for over 40 years, but you do not state what your intentions are.
Do you wish to come into compliance and retain your US citizenship, or do you wish to renounce?
When did you obtain your other citizenship ? It may be that you can claim a past relinquishment if you have done nothing American since, like renew your American passport or vote in a US election.
There are many factors you have to consider before re entering the US tax mire.
Thank you for the quick reply.
I apologize but I meant to ask if the SFO program is available only to persons who DO owe taxes