I'm late for American taxes-what now?

So, I’ve been living under a rock, avoiding this, but now I’m worried.
I’ve lived in Taipei for almost 2 years now, but I was a Chinese student before.
If it weren’t for Covid-19, I would visit the American institute and ask them about the American taxes.

This looks like such a mess. I don’t know where to start looking at it.
I work for an international company in Taipei, but none of my coworkers are American.
And then I wonder, do I also have to pay something to California?

Have a chat with @Bree she’ll have you sorted quickly.


I’m sorry, what US embassy would that be?


You know what OP means - the thing that’s essentially an embassy but they’re not allowed to call an embassy in case any neighbors complain.

You mean AIT?

I don’t mean anything, but I’m guessing OP does, yeah. Surprising description in Google, btw:


File your taxes. If you owe money, there will probably be late fees and penalties. If you’re getting a refund, you’re probably square.

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Is there a simple way to file?
I don’t think my taxes are very complex. I’m single, I have no dependents, I pay rent with cash out of pocket. In America I always used TurboTax.

There’s another big mess I should deal with with credit cards.

I would also like to keep working and have a full schedule.

It would be really nice to visit a tax office – is that possible with Covid going around?

File with TurboTax from here. If you didn’t make over 100,000 USD/yr (and change, I think it might be 105,000USD now) and you have bone fide residency (an ARC), you don’t owe Uncle Sam anything. (This is assuming you don’t have rental properties and other such additional forms of income which result in more complicated forms). Basically, you just need to file your taxes, not pay them. As long as you don’t owe anything, it is unlikely you’ll get in much trouble (maybe a slight fine).

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That’s good news. I make less than that.

I don’t know where she is now. I had 2017 taxes that I have refunds for and I messaged her asking about what happened to it. She said she’d call “next week”, that was a month ago. Either she’s left the forum completely or something else happened.

She liked the very post you are replying to and I just interacted with her last week, so perhaps try again? I’ve had excellent service from her at every interaction.

What @nz said basically sums it up for you. There are many tax filing companies online that guide you through the whole process for a fee. If you don’t owe any money, you wont be in any trouble. It’s when you owe and are late that you get fees added onto your due taxes. Also, you’ll get your stimulus money once you have your 2019 and 2020 taxes filed.

$107,600 USD maximum exclusion for 2020

As long as none of your income was from self-employment and was entirely from a foreign employer (Taiwanese company). It also depends on whether or not you spent any time in the USA or territories during the tax year as well. If you have open work rights (APRC/JFRV) and do any private lessons, all of that income is considered self-employment income and is not eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and is fully taxable.

You have to do the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (Form 2555) in order to see how much of the $107,600 is actually non-taxable and whether or not you’re eligible to take the exclusion.

Blanket statements such as, “as long as you made under X amount of dollars for the year, it’s non-taxable” is erroneous and irresponsible. But, I see this statement every year. :roll_eyes:

For tax year 2020 , the maximum foreign earned income exclusion is the lesser of the foreign income earned or $107,600 per qualifying person.

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I did not see anyone like that post.

It’s possible she put me on ignore for whatever reason.

I guess I won’t be getting that refund from 2017 and I won’t know why.

Are you saying someone else has your refund? What? If someone is stopping you from getting that, you should uh sort that out.

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Besides taxes you have to meet FBAR filing requirements depending on how much money in your overseas accounts.

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@depot this is an important issue, probably even more so than paying taxes on time. Unless your income in Taiwan is well over US$100K or you have a bunch of capital gains, you probably won’t owe a dime to the U.S., but if they find out you didn’t report your accounts on the FBAR form each year that the peak combined total was over a mere US$10K, they can (and do) confiscate 50% of the account value.


Wait who is this Bree? I too am having tax issues but sort of? figured mine out by just filing no w2 since it got lost.

If you are employed in Taiwan, by a Taiwanese company, why would you have a W2 to even lose? Taiwanese companies do not give out W2 forms.