The following email was sent out earlier:


(My comments are in [brackets]. All underlining is mine.)
=====
Dear U.S. citizens,

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided the following guidance for U.S. citizens abroad preparing for the 2015 tax filing season.  This IRS guidance is posted under Federal Benefits and Obligations on travel.state.gov.  U.S. embassies and consulates cannot mail tax returns on behalf of U.S. taxpayers living abroad.

1.  Who Must File?

All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual income tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit.

 2.  When is the 2014 Federal Tax Return Due?

Due date for Form 1040:  April 15, 2015

Extensions:

·         An automatic extension to June 15, 2015, is granted for taxpayers living outside the United States and Puerto Rico.  No form is required; write "Taxpayer Resident Abroad" at the top of your tax return. [Write it in RED CAPITAL LETTERS]

o   Caution:  This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment.  If you owe any taxes, you're required to pay by April 15, 2015.  Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment is made after this date.

·         To request an additional extension to October 15, 2015, use Form 4868.

·         Caution:  This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment.  If you owe any taxes, you're required to pay by April 15, 2015.  Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment make after this date.

·         Other extensions may be available on IRS.gov.

3.  Can I Mail My Return and Payment?

You can mail your tax return and payment using the postal service or approved private delivery services.  A list of approved delivery services is available on IRS.gov.  If you mail a return from outside the United States, the date of filing is the postmark date.  However, if you mail a payment, separately or with your return, your payment is not considered received until the date of actual receipt. 

4.  Can I Electronically File My Return?

You can prepare and e-file your income tax return, in many cases for free.  Participating software companies make their products available through the IRS.  E-File options are listed on IRS.gov. [Whether to file paper or electronically depends on many factors.  One actually makes it easier on the IRS by filing electronically.]

5.  What Forms May I Need?

·   1040, U.S Individual Income Tax Return
o   Instructions to Form 1040
o   1116, Foreign Tax Credit
o   2013 Instructions to Form 1116 [...]
     2350, Application for Extension of Time to File U.S. Income Tax Return (for U.S. citizens and residents abroad)
o   2350 in Spanish
·         2555, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
o   Instructions to Form 2555
·         2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
o   Instructions to Form 2555-EZ
·         4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
o   4868 in Spanish
·         8802, Application for United States Residency Certificate
o   Instructions to Form 8802
·         8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets,
o   Instructions to Form 8938
·         14653, Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures

6.  How Do I Pay My Taxes?

You must pay your taxes in U.S. dollars.

 

·         Direct pay.  You can pay online with a direct transfer from your U.S. bank account using Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or by a U.S. debit or credit card.  You can also pay by phone using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System or by a U.S. debit or credit card.

 

·         Foreign wire transfers.  If you have a U.S. bank account, you can use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.  If you do not have a U.S. bank account, ask whether your financial institution has a U.S. affiliate that can help you make same-day wire transfers.

 

·         Foreign electronic payments.  International taxpayers who do not have a U.S. bank account may transfer funds from their foreign bank account directly to the IRS for payment of their tax liabilities.

 

7.  Other Reporting?

You also may have to file FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), by June 30, 2015.

 

8.  Does the IRS Provide Help in Other Languages?

The IRS provides tax information in Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  Go towww.irs.gov and use the drop down box under "Languages" on the upper right corner to select your language.

 

9.  Where Can I Get Help?

Contact the International Taxpayer Service Call Center by phone or fax.  The International Call Center is open Monday through Friday, from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Tel:  267-941-1000 (not toll-free)

Fax:  267-941-1055

You may also contact the IRS office in London, Paris, or Frankfurt.  For addresses and telephone numbers, contact my local office internationally.

 

10.  I Received a Notice from the IRS – What Do I Do?

If you receive a notice from the IRS and need to contact the IRS, call the number listed on the notice or the International Taxpayer Service Call Center (see above).

 

11.  Where Can I Get More Information?

For information on the IRS website about international taxpayers,see this page.

For general information about international taxpayers, see Publication 54, "Taxation of U.S. Citizens and Residents Abroad."

For information on the Affordable Care Act and taxpayers outside the United States, seePublication 5187, "Health Care Law."

 

12.  I Haven't Filed All My Tax Returns – What Can I Do?

If you have not filed all the returns required of you and want to catch up on your filing obligations, see this announcement:  IRS makes changes to offshore-programs. [Consult tax counsel 


 


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THREE PART SERIES: GOOD GRIEF PART 3

10/10/2012

7 Comments

As the last part of this series on grief I want to discuss why it is not only normal, but in the case of dealing with the Autism diagnosis letting yourself grieve can be the gateway to hope.

Obviously, when parents are new to the diagnosis there is a great sense of loss, especially due to the fact that the parent is not yet sure how to master the new Autism environment.

Often as a reaction parents go into a frenzy determined to research everything about Autism with the goal of recovering their child within a year. Sadly, this is not always the reality and caregivers may feel as though they failed their child. A variety of emotions from withdrawal to rage may surface depending on the individual personalities and cultural norms of the family.

Depression, self-medication or over-eating, may become a pattern as the families coping mechanisms are tested.

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div. M.S.A. has a unique perspective on grief. He describes two stages that he calls “Adjustment” and “Reconstruction” these stages occur after the family has sufficiently grieved the experienced loss. In “Adjustment” the family can begin to let go of what they expected and begin to accept the status quo. There is hope in creating new relationships and exploring new solutions. It is also common for new routines to be formed in this stage. Once the family has mastered “Adjustment” they can move onto “Reconstruction”. In this phase the family is motivated by a desire to achieve what Fischer calls “Optimum Functioning”. Many times in the “Reconstruction” phase the family gains confidence in planning and achieving small victories. This can strengthen hope and family moral.

Once the family can untangle themselves from the tentacles of the negative aspects that come with grief, if they choose to they can begin a new life filled with opportunity and hope.

Once a person is ready, a type of “Conscious grieving” can highlight unique qualities about their unique circumstances and present a sense of richness with purpose to life.

Here are some quick tips for “Conscious grieving”

1. Keep a journal and/or scrapbook- Keeping a journal on your feelings. This will help record what your heart is really telling you. Many people going through the grieving process find that writing is a healing tool of catharsis. Sometimes scrapbook and pictures are icons of comfort that can be used in times of sadness. Pictures or words may reveal details that are helpful in providing direction in moving forward.

2. Teachable moment- Be aware of what meaning you can find through your suffering. You may learn a lot about what you value.

3. Spring Cleaning - Times of grief are great for making permanent changes. Take note
of what is or is not working in your life and make adjustments accordingly.

Starting from a place of grief is a start in and of itself. It has no bearing on where you will end up.
Be okay with where you are today.
Once you are ready to take the first step, towards healing please remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 





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12/11/2016 7:22am

Parents often report that learning their child is autistic was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to them. Non-autistic people see autism as a great tragedy, and parents experience continuing disappointment and grief at all stages of the child's and family's life cycle. But this grief does not stem from the child's autism in itself. It is grief over the loss of the normal child the parents had hoped and expected to have. Parents' attitudes and expectations, and the discrepancies between what parents expect of children

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10/13/2017 1:29pm


THREE PART SERIES: GOOD GRIEF PART 3

10/10/2012

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As the last part of this series on grief I want to discuss why it is not only normal, but in the case of dealing with the Autism diagnosis letting yourself grieve can be the gateway to hope.

Obviously, when parents are new to the diagnosis there is a great sense of loss, especially due to the fact that the parent is not yet sure how to master the new Autism environment.

Often as a reaction parents go into a frenzy determined to research everything about Autism with the goal of recovering their child within a year. Sadly, this is not always the reality and caregivers may feel as though they failed their child. A variety of emotions from withdrawal to rage may surface depending on the individual personalities and cultural norms of the family.

Depression, self-medication or over-eating, may become a pattern as the families coping mechanisms are tested.

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div. M.S.A. has a unique perspective on grief. He describes two stages that he calls “Adjustment” and “Reconstruction” these stages occur after the family has sufficiently grieved the experienced loss. In “Adjustment” the family can begin to let go of what they expected and begin to accept the status quo. There is hope in creating new relationships and exploring new solutions. It is also common for new routines to be formed in this stage. Once the family has mastered “Adjustment” they can move onto “Reconstruction”. In this phase the family is motivated by a desire to achieve what Fischer calls “Optimum Functioning”. Many times in the “Reconstruction” phase the family gains confidence in planning and achieving small victories. This can strengthen hope and family moral.

Once the family can untangle themselves from the tentacles of the negative aspects that come with grief, if they choose to they can begin a new life filled with opportunity and hope.

Once a person is ready, a type of “Conscious grieving” can highlight unique qualities about their unique circumstances and present a sense of richness with purpose to life.

Here are some quick tips for “Conscious grieving”

1. Keep a journal and/or scrapbook- Keeping a journal on your feelings. This will help record what your heart is really telling you. Many people going through the grieving process find that writing is a healing tool of catharsis. Sometimes scrapbook and pictures are icons of comfort that can be used in times of sadness. Pictures or words may reveal details that are helpful in providing direction in moving forward.

2. Teachable moment- Be aware of what meaning you can find through your suffering. You may learn a lot about what you value.

3. Spring Cleaning - Times of grief are great for making permanent changes. Take note
of what is or is not working in your life and make adjustments accordingly.

Starting from a place of grief is a start in and of itself. It has no bearing on where you will end up.
Be okay with where you are today.
Once you are ready to take the first step, towards healing please remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” 





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01/06/2017 1:17am

I agree that grief is the natural process that everybody goes through to get over that loss. Grief and loss, like death, are irrevocably part of human life. It is something even children experienced in a greater or lesser form. It is whether through the death of a pet, a family member, or changes such as divorce or relocation. Because no person is exempt from this often devastating truth.
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09/29/2016 2:56am

I had read your last blog about the part 2 and that was really amazing and great. Good grief is such a story that touches my heart and whenever I read its new part I actually read it more than one time.
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12/11/2016 7:22am

Parents often report that learning their child is autistic was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to them. Non-autistic people see autism as a great tragedy, and parents experience continuing disappointment and grief at all stages of the child's and family's life cycle. But this grief does not stem from the child's autism in itself. It is grief over the loss of the normal child the parents had hoped and expected to have. Parents' attitudes and expectations, and the discrepancies between what parents expect of children

Reply
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