This was originally published on March 6, 2013 and was updated June 21, 2014 with information relevant to 2013 and 2014 tax years.
US expats need to be aware of the deadlines for their taxes and how they are going to change with each new tax year. While this may seem like just another thing to be aware of when it comes to American taxes, being aware of these dates and marking your calendar ahead of time can eliminate the worry of missing important deadlines when it comes time to file your US expat taxes. Here are some must-know deadlines for all American expats filing from overseas.
Deadline for Expatriate Tax Returns: April 15, 2013
If you are an expat who is used to filing from within the United States, April 15 is most likely always going to be the day you think of first when someone says “tax day.” You may be wondering about last year’s deadline, which was a couple of days later. On occasion, the deadline may vary due to holidays that interfere with mail delivery; this is what happened in 2012. For 2013, though, the deadline is April 15.
Automatic Extensions for US Expats!
If you are an expat and you live abroad full time, you are lucky enough to be granted an automatic two-month extension to June 17, 2013. The reason for this extension is to allow extra time to receive foreign tax documents, which vary as to when they are delivered and could very well be different than the United States (such as the UK or Australia). It is important to take note that even if you file your taxes on June 17, payment for your American taxes is still due on April 15, 2013. Failure to pay these taxes on time will result in interest and penalties for underpayment. Many ask “How am I supposed to know what to pay?” and we honestly do not have an answer for you. For that reason, it may be best to simply have your American taxes filed and paid by this year’s April 15 deadline.
US Expats Can Apply for an Additional Extension to October 15
Things come up — be it a lack of tax documents, inability to find income statements, or a need to meet the Physical Presence Test — and you may need additional time to file your return for American taxes.
The IRS does allow for extensions if individuals file Form 4868, which can be handled by an expat CPA. If you do not have an accountant, you can also opt to go to www.officialpayments.com, click on “Federal IRS Payments,” then choose “Personal” and “Form 4868.” This makes it easy for anyone to file for an extension for his or her expatriate tax returns.
FBAR Deadline: June 30, 2013
If you have bank accounts overseas that total more than $10,000, you are going to be required to file the FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) with the US Department of the Treasury. The Treasury does not allow extensions on this deadline, and unlike the IRS, the Treasury only considers the FBAR forms filed if they have been delivered to the US Department of the Treasury. For 2014, taxpayers have the first opportunity to meet this deadline using the FBAR E-filing system.
The FBAR is completed via FinCEN Form 114 and is an essential part to filing American taxes for expats. Note that “foreign account” can be used very liberally. If you have a foreign brokerage account, mutual funds, or a foreign trust, you will need to report each of them as part of filing your American taxes. It also includes any joint accounts you have even if the other member is a non-citizen. Be sure to report any income earned from interest on these accounts when you file your American taxes.
Deadlines in 2015 For Filing Expat Taxes for Tax Year 2014
- April 15, 2015 – US tax filing deadline and due date for all taxes owed
- June 15, 2015 – US tax abroad deadline for expats
- June 30, 2015 – Foreign Bank Account Report is due (FBAR)
- October 15, 2015 – Final tax deadline for US tax abroad IF you have already applied for an extension
Questions About Your American Taxes?
We have also put together a video about important dates for American taxes this year. If you have any questions about filing or would like to learn about our expatriate tax services, please contact us.