I am a U.S. citizen living in Europe. I know I am required to file U.S. income taxes every year, but I don't, and I don't intend to. I do maintain a minimal bank account in the U.S. to pay for occasional purchase on Amazon, etc, but I have not earned any money in the U.S., so my tax liability would likely be zero there anyway, even if I were to file.

I have recently been presented an opportunity to earn some odd money (writing some guest blog posts) for a couple of US companies. Annual income from this is likely to max out around USD $2,000, and may be much less (perhaps as little as $100 or $200).

The fact that I'm a U.S. citizen (and not willing to lie to the companies offering me these contracts) means that these companies will want to file a W9 with my SSN. My intention would be to declare the income on my European taxes, so I would still be taxed, but I know this wouldn't satisfy the IRS, if they were to notice.

Does this open me up to any additional risk that I'm not already exposed to, by not filing taxes in the US? For instance, will this be more likely to earn attention of the IRS?

  • 1
    How could tickling the IRS with a W-9 which cannot be connected to a Form 1040 do anything other than increase the chance that the IRS would notice the non-filing? I have no idea if the IRS would or could take any action, but the receipt of an unmatched W-9 would certainly increase the risk of notice. Jan 7 '20 at 15:46
  • 2
    The situation is more complicated than you seem to assume, because a US citizen or permanent resident owes US taxes on their worldwide income, not just US income. That is balanced by tax treaties and allowances. See Taxpayers Living Abroad Jan 7 '20 at 16:55
  • The risk of actual tax liability, and penalties if you do get caught, increase with increasing income. You may want to consider regularizing your situation. You would have to file back tax returns. For the future, you can either file US returns or renounce US citizenship, after getting citizenship in another country. Jan 7 '20 at 19:47

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