I've had a look through this forum but not sure if i have see an answer for what i'm looking for...
I am a NZ citizen married to a US citizen. My US Citizen wife has been in New Zealand since she was 18. She has lived, studied and worked in NZ for the last 12 years. She has not filed taxes in the US since she left 12 years ago. She did not realize that this was a requirement.
We have a pending I-130 for myself so we are looking at getting things sorted out in advance of visa interviews/immigrating. I have found that she can file for the Streamlined Filing program (previous 3 years tax filings and past 6 years FBAR's). This will get her caught up with the IRS.
I have looked into the professional online options (H&R Block, etc) for Expats to catchup but this is US$1500+. I'd like to avoid that cost if possible.
The questions I have for the forum are:
1) Has anyone on VJ gone through this already? Any tips or advice?
2) With the backdated FBAR's for the Streamlined Filing, do you need to file all 6 years even if your accounts do not exceed $10,000? Is it worth filing them even if our accounts are below the threshold?
3) All of our accounts are joint. Do I need to file for these years as well? (As a non-resident alien) If she file as married filing separate can we just file for her and leave me out of it?
We are not worried about owing tax (as all income was earned & taxed in New Zealand and can be excluded), we just want to get up to date with the IRS to save future issues.