Where the IRS will likely look overseas: USCs are Millions Yet U.S. Tax Returns are Just a Few Hundred Thousand


“Only about 46,000 returns were filed by Canadian residents claiming the foreign earned income exclusion, and even more surprising are the mere 7,000 returns from Mexican based U.S. taxpayers. See Table 2 of the report – Individual Foreign-Earned Income and Foreign Tax Credit, 2011

These are the two most populated countries with U.S. citizens.

As the IRS receives information around the world from governments and financial institutions via FATCA, of U.S. citizens and their bank accounts, it will be fairly easy for them to start targeting certain countries and commence tax audits against residents in those countries.”


The IRS has key tax return filing information in their current records; pre-FATCA flow of financial information.  Various reports indicate there are probably around 6-7 million U.S. citizens residing overseas, although there is no certainty in these numbers.  See, Taxpayer’s Advocate Annual Report of 2012 – that Graph of US taxpayers overseas - TAS 2012 reportdiscussed both the number and type of individuals overseas, and potentially unidentified individuals.

The IRS tracks and keep information on U.S. income tax returns filed by U.S. individual taxpayers overseas.

The information is not only the number of tax returns (head count), but also the amount of income reported.  For instance, TAS reported about 700,000 returns were filed in 2010 by U.S. taxpayers abroad, while estimating about 6.32 million U.S. citizens reside abroad.  See, p. 37 of the Taxpayer’s Advocate Annual Report of 2012

These numbers do not even try to quantify the number of lawful permanent residents (“green card holders”) who…

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