How do I file for an extension on a US expat tax return?

The IRS gives taxpayers living abroad an automatic extension beyond the US tax deadline of April 15th to file their US expat tax returns. The automatic extension runs through June 15th. If you need additional time to file your tax return, you can request an extension by filing Form 4868 and submitting it to the IRS. This will provide you with an extension until October 15th.*

If you still need more time, you must write the IRS directly and request an extension until December 15th. Additionally, if you need an extension to meet the criteria of the Physical Presence Test or the Bona Fide Residence Test, you can file Form 2350 to request the additional time you need.

Please note: The US Federal Tax Return extension is an extension of time to file and not an extension of time to pay any tax due to the IRS. If you owe tax to the US, your interest will start accruing from the first tax deadline, which is April 15th.* Additionally, if you do not request an extension and do not file, a late payment penalty of 5% may be assessed each month until the tax is paid.

If you’d like your accountant to file your extension for you, log into your account and select “Extensions” under “My Account.”

*If the 15th falls on a weekend, then the due date becomes the first business day of the following week. For 2023 that means the deadline is April 18th.