THE ‘STEAMLINED’ PROGRAM BASICS
In October 2012, the foreign friendlier IRS made filing “old” returns a whole lot easier by initiating “the streamlined” voluntary disclosure program. If you are one of the many expats who owe no tax (or very little, like under $1,500 per year) and had no clue that there was a filing requirement for US you can file 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and voila! You are totally caught up with the IRS requirements. In addition, this program permits you to file prior Foreign Bank Account Reports (known as FBARS) penalty free, going back 6 years.
If you owe tax, the Internal Revenue Service has 10 years to collect. In this instance you may, however, want to file under another OVDP program to escape criminal prosecution or tax fraud charges…especially if you are collectible from a US employer or bank account.
Just so you know, the IRS is open to liberal payment terms and arrangements, so do not ignore your tax responsibilities because of the money!