With so much focus on the US election for American Expats, be sure you don’t let your IRS tax filing obligations fall through the cracks.
Source: Taxes For Expats
If you owe money to the IRS, you might be wondering when it’s due (especially with the filing extensions granted you as an expatriate). It’s easy to be confused, as an expat, about the deadlines for U.S. taxes. In this article, we will cover the deadlines for tax returns and FBAR forms, as well as how to file for an extension if needed.
Regular Tax Filing Deadline
All Americans know “tax day” as April 15th. And while this is normally the case, the tax filing deadline will be pushed to the following Monday if the 15th falls on a weekend or a holiday.
Federal Expatriate Extension, When and How it Applies
As an expat, your necessary tax documents may arrive at different times than you were accustomed to in the U.S. To accommodate you, the IRS automatically extends your filing deadline to June 15th of every year. This automatic kindness does not extend to money owed, however.
Any money you owe the IRS will still be due on April 15th (or the following Monday if April 15th lands on a weekend or a holiday). In other words – you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay federal income tax if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien without incurring late penalties.
Even though you are allowed an extension to file, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return (ie April 15th).
Any payments made after June 15 will be subject to both interest charges and failure to pay penalties.
Without filing, you may not be aware of how much money, if any, you will owe. Regardless, interest on the money owed will begin to accrue as of April 16th. If you expect to owe money to the IRS, it is wise to file as early as possible to avoid a higher payment at a later date.
Your first quarter estimated tax payment is also due to be made on April 15 using form 1040 ES. Please note that the underpayment of estimated taxes by as much as $1,000 or more for the year will generate an underpayment penalty – even if all payments were made on time. If your self-employment income exceeds your previous year’s income by more than 10%, contact your tax advisor to revise the estimated payment amounts.
If you do not file the necessary form to extend your personal return and end up owing taxes, failure to properly extend the form will result in a large penalty of 5% per month of the tax due up to a maximum penalty of 25% of the tax due plus interest. Best to not miss filing that extension due to this high penalty.
Extension Until Oct 15
Even with the automatic two-month extension until June, it is possible that your documents may not arrive in time. you can request an additional extension to October 15th.
Please press ‘request federal extension’ in your client profile and TFX will file it for you.
If you need to extend your expatriate return beyond that date in order to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion you need to file Form 2350, which we can also assist with.
FinCEN 114 (FBAR)
In addition to filing with the IRS, many American expats are required to file a foreign bank account report (referred to as an FBAR). The FBAR is required for any expat who has over $10,000 in foreign bank accounts at any point (even one day) during the year. Anything over $10,000 (and this figure applies to all foreign accounts combined) must be reported.
This form is due (to the Treasury, FBAR (FinCEN 114) is not filed with the IRS) by April 15th; and starting with 2017, may be extended until October.
Many expats falsely assume that they do not need to file an FBAR. Note – “Foreign financial account” is not limited to simply standard checking and savings accounts, however. You must also take into account your mutual funds, trusts, and brokerage accounts. Also, your business accounts may need to be included. Contact an international tax expert if you are unsure of how to proceed. And do not put the calculating off until the last minute. If you have multiple accounts, this can be a very complicated process.
Federal Tax Return Expat Tax Deadlines & Due Dates Only are Listed Above – Various states may have other filing deadlines – This only includes the most common filing dates and should not be relied on for all filing dates.