When you move abroad, you suddenly become in charge of knowing more American expatriate tax deadlines than ever before. Not only do you have to stay on top of your new resident country deadlines, but you also have to keep up with the tax deadlines and extensions. Getting tax compliant by the deadline can now mean the difference between having a passport and losing it. So, we’ve compiled all the information you need so that you can get caught up on your American expatriate tax requirements as soon as possible!
What Are the Deadlines for American Expatriate Tax Returns?
April 15th is well known for being the American Tax Day in an average tax year – however, this deadline fluctuates if it falls on a weekend or holiday. But did you know that expats receive an automatic two-month extension until June 15th? They do, and they don’t even have to fill out any extra paperwork to receive that extension.
Expats can also request an additional extension until October 15th, as long as they do so by the June 15th deadline. In certain rare and extenuating circumstances, expats can even receive an extension through December 15th, but these are given at the discretion of the IRS. However, it’s best not to bank on getting that extension if at all possible, and instead, get caught up.
Why Is the October Deadline So Important?
This October deadline is incredibly significant for three reasons – now more than ever.
1. New IRS compliance campaigns that target expats have been recently rolled out. Of the six compliance campaigns, several target expats specifically, and nearly all of them will affect expats in certain financial situations. What does this mean? The IRS is pulling out all the stops to find noncompliant taxpayers. In the very near future, expats who are not caught up on their taxes can expect to be contacted by the IRS about their violation. At that point, expats can no longer use the very helpful amnesty programs that help so many get caught up penalty-free. But if you get compliant before you’re contacted, you may be able to use the Streamlined Filing Procedures if you were unaware of the tax reporting requirements. These procedures save countless expats money each year and make getting caught up a lot less scary.
2. They can take your passport. Unfortunately, the IRS is now not only looking for noncompliance more than ever before, but when they find it, the consequences are life-changing. The penalties and fees add up especially quickly on late American expatriate tax bills, and when they hit a certain threshold, your passport is on the line. The IRS considers owing $52,000 or more as having “seriously delinquent tax debt,” and at that threshold, they can revoke your passport. For expats, the effect of losing a passport is almost incalculable.
3. The longer you wait, the more you spend. Even with the extension until October, any taxes owed will accrue interest starting back at that April deadline. So don’t wait. You’ll save money, and you’ll probably sleep better knowing you’re caught up, too.
Ready to Get Caught Up on Your American Expatriate Tax Requirements?
The experts at Greenback are well-versed in the latest changes to expat taxes. We can help you get caught up, and we can make the process stress-free, too. Get started with Greenback today!