I live abroad and want to participate in the new Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures for reporting undisclosed offshore assets but I’m not sure if I qualify as a "non-resident" because I maintain ties to the United States. How can I tell?
The non-residency test – which can mean the difference between paying a five percent penalty or no penalty at all – is whether, in any one or more of the most recent three years for which the U.S. tax return due date has passed, you did not have a U.S. "abode" and you were physically outside the United States for at least 330 full days. "Abode" is a somewhat nebulous term variously defined as an individual’s home, habitation, residence, domicile, or place of dwelling. "Abode" has a domestic rather than a vocational meaning, focused on where you maintain your economic, family, and personal ties, and does not mean the same as "tax home."