It only took me the better part of a year to get my act together on this. As I may have explained before, although I'm an Australian citizen, the state department makes clear that I still have to file tax returns. From their website:
I have three problems with this.
First is that the 2555 form for foreign income is difficult to complete, hard to convert to US dollars and doesn't work for the IRS free file website. In the past I've paid H&R Block to complete this for me because I wasn't sure what else to do from Australia.
Second is that I never owe anything because the US and Australia have a tax agreement. So I'm paying H&R Block a substantial amount of money to tell the IRS I'm alive, earning money in Australia and don't owe them any money. This just doesn't seem fair.
Third is that Australia taxes fall within a financial year and the US obviously follows calendar years. This, my dear friends, means I have to do my taxes twice in any given year. Can you imagine?
The only thing that prevents me from moving off the grid and avoiding taxes all together is that Australia has a lovely, simple and easy to use tax system that is, get this, designed by the tax office itself! No TurboTax or H&R Block programs and fees. Just a simple download, you're on your way and it takes less than an hour. It's amazing. [H&R Block and such companies do exist in Australia for the more complex returns.]
I mailed my returns off and hopefully the IRS is like "Oh. Kerry. Ok, she's alive and doesn't owe us any money. Great." I'm not entirely sure how it's going to go with turning in a return late so fingers crossed they're cool with me finally catching up.
Now to just get my 2015 taxes done while I'm in their good books.