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What is the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedure?

Officially known as the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedure, this IRS program is also commonly referred to as the Streamlined Tax Amnesty program

It’s designed to assist US citizens, including those who became US taxpayers unintentionally (often called accidental Americans), who live abroad and have mistakenly failed to file US tax returns and FBARs (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Reports). This program offers a way to submit overdue tax returns without incurring the usual penalties for late submissions.

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Who is eligible for the Streamlined Procedure?

To qualify for the Streamlined Procedure, individuals must not have been previously contacted by the IRS regarding the tax years they missed. The program is specifically intended for those who can demonstrate that their failure to file was non-willful—stemming from a misunderstanding or error, rather than an attempt to avoid US tax obligations.

What are the requirements of the program?

Participants are required to file the last three years of tax returns and six years of FBARs. They must also complete an offshore certification form, which details their reasons for not complying previously and affirms their intention to adhere to US tax laws in the future. Utilizing the services of an IRS-licensed tax professional to navigate the amnesty program is highly advised.

Upon successful processing by the IRS, individuals are considered fully compliant with US tax laws.

For further information on the Streamlined Tax Amnesty program, you can visit here: Streamlined Tax Amnesty Program.

What does the Streamlined Tax Amnesty program cost?

The cost of participating in the Streamlined Tax Amnesty program varies based on each case. To get an estimate tailored to your specific situation, you can request a quote here: Get a Streamlined Quote.

What are the filing guidelines for the IRS Streamlined Procedure?

Submissions for the Streamlined Procedure must be done via mail with paper copies of tax returns signed in ink; they cannot be e-filed. However, FBARs remain eligible for electronic filing, which simplifies at least part of the filing process. This dual method ensures that all documents are processed efficiently and securely by the IRS.

Why partner with a specialist Expat accountant?

Living outside of the US can make your tax filing requirements complicated. To ensure you pay the minimum amount of taxes, it’s critical to work with an accountant who understands every aspect and avenue for reducing your tax liability. We have a dedicated team of tax accountants who work exclusively with US expats earning and investing in Germany. Partnering with a specialist expat accountant can help you navigate complex tax regulations and optimize your tax situation.


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