Dealing with the IRS can often be a nerve-wracking encounter, especially when it comes to foreign income and asset disclosure. Luckily, the IRS has formulated the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure, a program designed to help people become compliant by settling their offshore tax responsibilities. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on understanding and navigating the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure.

Understanding the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure

The IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure is an initiative by the Internal Revenue Service to simplify the process of disclosing unreported foreign income and assets by US taxpayers. It acknowledges the fact that some taxpayers might have innocently omitted declaring some of their income or assets. By opting into this program, taxpayers can avoid criminal charges and minimize their exposure to penalties.

Who is Eligible for the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure?

Both residents and non-residents of the United States who have not purposefully evaded tax payment can use the streamlined procedures. Specifically, they must meet non-willfulness criteria, have a valid Tax Identification Number, and their failure to file tax returns or report foreign income must not be due to fraudulent actions.

Steps for Using the IRS Streamlined Filing Procedure

  1. Confirm eligibility for the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure.
  2. Prepare and provide necessary documentation – including amended tax return forms and certification of foreign status for non-resident US taxpayers.
  3. File the necessary forms and pay the required amounts. This includes all due taxes, interest, and penalties.

What are the Different Types of Streamlined Procedures?

There are two types of streamlined procedures: Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedure and Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedure. The first is designed for U.S. taxpayers residing outside the U.S while the second is meant for U.S taxpayers living within the U.S. Both procedures have different criteria and steps for compliance, which should be carefully evaluated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens if one does not comply with the IRS?

Failure to comply with the IRS, especially on foreign income and asset disclosure, could lead to penalties, interest charges, seizure of assets, and even criminal charges. It’s, therefore, essential to utilize procedures like the Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure to avoid such consequences.

Can the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure be used more than once?

No, the IRS does not permit taxpayers to use the IRS Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedure more than once. Taxpayers should ensure they fully disclose all their foreign income and assets on their first shot.


In conclusion, the IRS Streamlined Filing Procedure is a beneficial policy for taxpayers who have mistakenly failed to declare their foreign income or assets. Utilizing this procedure can save them from hefty penalties and potential criminal charges. As with all tax-related matters, it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional for personalized advice.