Due Dates and Extensions
Tax returns are always due by April 15 each year although an expat has more options available while living overseas. The following discussions extension in general as well as 2 specific extensions only available to expatriates.
When is my tax return due?
Individual tax returns are due by April 15th for the prior year.
How do I get additional time to file?
You can request an extension of time to file your tax return by filing Form 4868 by April 15. This automatic request now extends your tax return to October 15. Prior to 2005, this form only extended your return to August 15.
How do I pay tax due with the extension while living abroad?
The IRS now offers a number of ways to pay tax with the extension request. See the instructions above the form. Also see the other credit card and Electronic Federal Tax Payment System at www.irs.gov For individuals needing to make more than one estimated tax payment, EFTPS is highly recommended.
If I file an extension, will the IRS charge interest or penalty?
The IRS always charges interest on tax not paid by April 15 - even if you filed an extension. The IRS may also charge penalties, such as the late payment penalty. The IRS does not charge interest or penalty if you are in a refund position at April 15.
Isn't my return due on June 15 if I lived abroad on April 15?
If you reside abroad on April 15, you have an automatic extension of time to file your tax return. You need to either file a further extension request or your return by June 15. You only need to maintain your tax residence abroad on April 15 to qualify for this extension - you can be physically present in the US on April 15. The IRS will still charge interest on any unpaid balance as of April 15.
If you use this extension and are filing your return by June 15, attach a paper statement that you lived abroad on April 15. If you are requesting a further extension on Form 4868, check the box that you are "out of the country" on Form 4868. If you are requesting a further extension on Form 2350, check the box that you have previously granted an extension.
We suggest that you file an extension by April 15 rather than use this automatic extension. Many of the extension options, such as electronic filing, have previously not been available after April 15.
I need more time to qualify for the exclusions. What form do I file?
You need to wait to file your tax return to claim the foreign earned income exclusions until you have met your qualifying period. The IRS will give you 30 days past the end of this period if you file Form 2350.
Example: You need additional time to qualify for the physical presence test so that you have 330 full foreign days outside the US during your 12 month period. In this example, your 12 month period ends October 30. You would request an extension to November 30 on Form 2350.
Example: You need additional time to qualify for the bona fide residence test so that you have been a bona fide resident of the foreign country for an entire calendar year. You would request an extension to January 30 of the next year on Form 2350.
- Qualifying for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusions
- ►General Questions
- ►Physical Presence Test
- ►Counting Days in the US, Abroad and Traveling
- ►Bona Fide Residence
- ►War Zones and Military Contractors
- Income and Social Tax Withholding
- ►Social Security and Medicare Taxes
- ►Income Tax Withholding
- ►Hypothetical Tax
- ►Totalization Agreements
- ►Due Dates and Extensions
- ►Expatriate Tax Forms
- ►IRS Addresses
- ►Other Resources