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For U.S. Citizens: Filing Extensions While Abroad

For U.S. Citizens: Filing Extensions While Abroad

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

When to File

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien residing overseas, or are in the military on duty outside the U.S., on the regular due date of your return, you are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay any amount due without requesting an extension. For a calendar year return, the automatic 2-month extension is to June 15. If you qualify for this 2-month extension, penalties for paying any tax late are assessed from the 2-month extended due date of the payment (June 15 for calendar year taxpayers). However, even if you are allowed an extension, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return (April 15 for calendar year taxpayers).
If you qualify for the 2-month extension but are unable to file your return by the automatic 2-month extension date, you can request an additional extension to October 15 by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, before the automatic 2-month extension date. However, if you qualify for the 2-month extension, penalties for paying any tax late are assessed from the extended due date of the payment (June 15 for calendar year taxpayers). Otherwise, if you do not qualify for the 2-month extension, penalties for paying late are assessed from the original due date of your return (April 15 for calendar year taxpayers). Also, even if you are allowed extensions to June 15 and/or October 15, you will owe interest on any unpaid tax amount from the original due date of the return (April 15 for calendar year taxpayers).

Automatic 2 Month Extension of Time to File

You may be allowed an automatic 2-month extension of time to file your return and pay any federal income tax that is due. You will be allowed the extension if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien and on the regular due date of your return:
• You are living outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or
• You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico
Even if you are allowed an extension, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return.

Married Taxpayers

If you file a joint return, either you or your spouse can qualify for the automatic extension. If you and your spouse file separate returns, this automatic extension applies only to the spouse who qualifies.

How To Get The Extension

To use this automatic 2-month extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two situations listed earlier qualified you for the extension.

Article contributed by ExpatCPA – www.expatcpa.com
Email: contact@expatcpa.com
sourced through www.irs.gov

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