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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tax Adviser: U. S. Citizens Have to File

A representative of the U. S. Internal Revenue Service is in Moscow to help Americans avoid the long arm of the tax auditor and also clarify U. S. tax rules for Russians who have earned income in the United States.

"My visit here is part of the IRS push to increase compliance of U. S. taxpayers overseas", said Kevin Coulter, a specialist with the service's international department. He will be available at the U. S. Embassy through Monday.

"We estimate that about half of Americans living abroad did not file returns last year", Coulter said. About 6, 000 Americans live in Russia.

Most other foreign residents here do not pay taxes to their own countries but only to the Russian government. U. S. citizens will receive a credit for the amount they pay to Russia.

Russians who have worked in the United States may be liable for U. S. taxes, Coulter said, adding that he is available to advise such persons.

Americans, other than government employees, are allowed an exemption on the first $70, 000 of income.

"A lot of people think that because they earned less than $70, 000, they don't need to file", Coulter said. "They must file within a year; if they don't, they lose that exemption".

Coulter said by filing returns, taxpayers can avoid costly penalties for filing returns late, which are considerably more than penalties for late payment of taxes.