Are Expatriates and Others Living Abroad Entitled to an Automatic Extension if they Haven’t Filed their Taxes?
There are an array of reasons why taxpayers fail to file their taxes by the April tax deadline. In some cases, the failure to file comes down to simple forgetfulness. In other cases, procrastination may contribute to the individual’s failure to file their taxes on time. In still other cases, due to independent contracting work or other activities where a self-employment tax may apply, the individual may fail to file on time simply because he or she fears the tax bill that the filing will result in. In any case, delaying a tax filing will only make the eventual result worse, therefore, it is always prudent to move as quickly as possible to correct a potentially late tax filing.
CPA Ted Kleinman has decades of experience assisting expats and others living abroad with their U.S. and international tax obligations. If you have unfiled taxes or have failed to make required offshore disclosures like FBAR and FATCA, Ted can help you achieve compliance with the U.S. Tax Code and avoid harsh compliance penalties. To schedule a tax consultation with ted call U.S. Tax help at (541) 923-0903 or contact us online.
How Should I File My Taxes if I’m an Expat Living Abroad?
If you are living abroad as an expatriate, there is a high likelihood that your taxes aren’t late yet and your concern and anxiety are largely unfounded. However, continued delay may indeed result in your tax filing and payment being late. This is because, generally speaking, U.S. citizens who are living or working outside of the country are automatically provided a two-month extension of time to file their taxes. This means that most expats have until June 15th to file and pay their taxes. Expats who need additional time to file their taxes can request an additional extension.
What if I’m on Military Duty in a Foreign Country and Did Not File My Taxes?
If you are on active military service in a foreign nation you may also benefit from extended tax deadlines. Likewise, if you are a civilian providing military support in certain qualifying areas, you may also qualify for special tax befits including extended filing periods. Generally, armed service members and qualifying civilians serving in combat zones can qualify for this relief. Generally speaking, the deadline is extended for the duration of the individual’s service in the combat zone plus an additional 180 days following the end of the service in the combat zone. This relief also provides for additional time added on the basis of the number of days prior to April filing deadline that he or she was on active duty in a combat zone. Therefore, if a service member entered a combat zone on February 29th and the filing deadline was April 18, 2016, he or she would have 50 additional days added on to the 180-day extension following the end of service in a combat zone. These extensions apply regardless of the form of income.
What if I’m Not Living Abroad?
If you are not living abroad, did not file for an automatic extension via IRS Form 4868, and do not qualify for some other form of automatic relief your taxes are currently late if they are unfiled. A failure to file penalty can apply. Furthermore, if you owe the IRS money, a failure to pay a penalty will also apply. Since IRS penalties for unpaid and unfiled taxes are imposed for any month or any part of the month where the taxes remain unfiled or unpaid, it is in a taxpayer’s best interest to file as soon as possible. For instance, if you file your taxes on June 2nd, you will owe applicable penalties for April, May, and June since the taxes remained unpaid or unfiled for two days in the month.
CPA Assists Expats and Others with Unfiled Taxes
If you have unfiled taxes and are living abroad, you probably aren’t late with your filing currently, but the June 15 deadline is quickly approaching. Since international tax filings can be more complex than the average filing and often include required offshore disclosure, taking action on these obligations sooner rather than later is prudent. If you do not qualify for relief and did not already file for an extension, you are rapidly approaching liability for another month of penalties as the calendar turns from May to June.
Ted Kleinman of U.S. Tax Help can help you comply with all U.S. tax obligations. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation call Ted at (541) 923-0903 or contact U.S. Tax Help online.