Is April 15th the Tax Deadline for Expats?

December 1, 2023 | , | 6 minute read
Expat Tax Blog. Tax Tips for US Americans abroad.

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Should expats file their US taxes by April 15th?

A person using a notebook and calculator to figure out

Not everyone needs to file by April 15th, the traditional US Tax Deadline. In fact, the tax deadline for expats isn’t until June 15th. However, there are certain cases where April 15th is the tax deadline for expats, or at least they will want to file by then!

As an American citizen living outside the United States, you probably don’t need to file by April 15th. As we mentioned, American expats legally don’t need to file by the 15th. However, there are a few cases where you may want to file by then anyway.


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US Expat Taxes & April 15th – What’s the deal?

First, let’s talk about who SHOULD file by April 15th. American expats should file by April 15th if they think they might owe US taxes. Some reasons you might owe US taxes include:

Why do expats have to file by April 15th if they owe US Taxes?

Anyone who owes taxes needs to file AND pay by April 15th. Expats are not alone in this. Yes, expats qualify for an extension giving them more time to collect their paperwork if they don’t owe anything. However, anyone who needs to pay should file and pay by April 15th. Otherwise, you could be liable for interest debt on top of your taxes. 

Even if you don’t think you will owe US taxes, the best way to be sure you are safe is to file and pay by April 15th. We’re just using the 15th since that’s the traditional tax filing deadline to keep things simple. 

What happens if I need more time? Can I get an extension beyond April 15th?

You’re in luck! If you won’t owe any US taxes and live outside the United States, the IRS gives you an automatic two-month extension. That means you have until June 15th to file your US tax return. You don’t need to do anything special; the extension is automatic. Simply file your US expat tax return as you usually would. 

But do make sure you don’t forget! By June, talk of US taxes will probably have died down for most Americans. It could be easy for your tax filing duty to slip your mind!

Two types of US Citizens abroad qualify for the Automatic Extension beyond the April 15th Tax Deadline for Expats.

They are those who are:

  • Living outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your primary employment is outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

Or they are:

  • Military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

What if I still need more time to file my US expat Taxes?

There’s a form for that.

If you need more time beyond the April 15th Tax deadline for expats and non-expats alike, plus you need even more time beyond the June 15th automatic extension deadline for expats, you can request an additional extension.

Request an additional extension for FREE using Or do it yourself by filing form 4868. This form provides you with a further 4-month extension from the April deadline, giving you until October 15th to file your US expat tax return. Caution: You will need to file this form by the June 15th deadline usually, but thankfully, you have until June 17th, 2024 to file your extension. You can request it anytime before then, so why not start now?

Who needs to file US Taxes from Abroad Anyway?

Let’s discuss who needs to file their US taxes while living abroad. If you fall within any of the minimum income thresholds, you’ll need to file a US Tax return. Since it’s 2024, you’ll need to file a tax return if, in 2023, you earned anything above the minimum gross annual income threshold. They are as follows:

US Expat Filing StatusMinimum Gross Annual Income
Married Filing Jointlyif you’re married to a US citizen, this is probably you.$27,700
Married Filing SeparatelyIf you’re married to someone other than a US citizen, this is probably you.$5Yup, that’s not a typo.
Head of Household$20,800
Qualifying Widower$27,700

These minimum filing thresholds are for the Tax Year 2023, filing in 2024. If you are over 65 years old, the thresholds are slightly higher. For full details on income filing thresholds and who needs to file, check out our Expat Tax Guide

What about State Taxes? Is April 15th the Tax Deadline for Expats too?

Is April 15th still the tax deadline for US expats when it comes to State taxes? Well that depends on the state. It also can depend on your residence status within that state. Even you left the US and haven’t been a resident of that state for years, they could still consider you a resident.

Of course, if you just left late last year, you’ll probably need to file them. After all, in 2024, you are reporting the income you earned in 2023. If you earned that income in a state with state income tax, make sure you file your state taxes too.

Living outside the US for over a year doesn’t automatically mean you’re off the hook for state taxes either. Unlike federal income taxes, state income taxes are a whole different ball game, and each state calls the shots on who they label as a resident. Tackling this residency dilemma can be particularly tricky in states like California, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Virginia—ones that tend to stick like glue, making it challenging for expats to break free.

Just like when filing your US taxes, you’ll need to file your state taxes by April 15th. Things can get a little more complicated regarding extensions for state taxes. Each state determines its own rules. To help you identify your state’s income tax extension policy, we’ve created our complete guide to state tax extensions for expats

What if I’ve never filed my US Taxes from abroad?

Did you just now realize that you need to file US Expat taxes, even after you’ve left the US? Or hey, maybe you’ve never even LIVED in the US. Do you really need to file US taxes? 

If you need to file US taxes but never have, the IRS has created a program for you. They call it The Streamlined Procedure. Use The Streamlined Procedure to get caught up on this year’s and your past tax returns without penalty from the IRS. Yup! File now using the Streamlined Procedure, and you won’t even face a late filing penalty (interest may still apply though!). 

With The Streamlined Procedure, you’ll file this year’s return, three years past returns, plus six years of FBARS. Regardless of how many years you failed to file, once you’ve completed The Streamlined Procedure, the IRS will overlook any other past returns and consider you to be “in good standing.” 

What’s this FBAR thing I keep hearing about?

Now that we’ve discussed which expats need to file their taxes by April 15th, there is another form we should discuss. That form is known as the FBAR. Oh, and surprise, surprise, it’s also due on April 15th.

If you’ve already spent time reading about US expat taxes, you may have heard or seen talk about the FBAR. But what is the FBAR exactly? And what does it have to do with Americans Abroad?  FBAR stands for Foreign Bank Account Report. It’s a mandatory report that any American must file if they have more than $10,000 at any time during the year combined from their foreign accounts. It can be in one account or several. So long as the total sum of the maximum balances you had in foreign accounts adds up to $10,000, you’ll need to file an FBAR.

Since Americans living abroad are highly likely to have bank accounts, retirements accounts, or other investment accounts abroad, make sure you’re keeping track of their total sums. You can even file the FBAR without knowing the exact amount of funds in your accounts. When in doubt, it’s always better to file just in case. 

When is the FBAR due for Americans Abroad?

As we mentioned before, the FBAR is due April 15th. Shocking, I know. But there is good news. The FBAR also has an automatic extension. The automatic extension for FBAR filing is usually on October 15th. You don’t need to request an extension. Just file your FBAR by October 15th, and you’ll be good to go.

How can expats file the FBAR?

Let’s spill the beans: MyExpatTaxes is the one and only software that effortlessly incorporates the FBAR. No bragging here, just stating the facts! When you use MyExpatTaxes to file your US Tax Return, you won’t miss a beat because the software will nudge you about filing your FBAR too—only if it’s necessary for you, though. If you’re off the hook from the FBAR filing requirements, we’re cool with skipping that part altogether. Easy peasy!

You can, of course, also file the FBAR yourself. Since the FBAR isn’t going to the IRS, you won’t be able to file it together with your tax return. You’ll need to create a separate account and file your FBAR electronically through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Wouldn’t it just be easier to file everything together through MyExpatTaxes?

US Expat Taxes Simplified

How do you decide which US deadline is right for you? Is the best choice the April 15th tax deadline for expats? Should you put it off until the October 16th deadline? Every case is unique. Especially for expats.

US Taxes are famously complicated. There is no secret there. But US taxes for Americans Abroad can seem even more complicated. Why not simplify your life and let MyExpatTaxes help sort things out for you. Thousands of Americans trust and e-file with MyExpatTaxes. We specialize in issues that affect expats in particular.

MyExpatTaxes is the only tax filing software that helps Americans abroad file their taxes and their FBAR at the same time. We’re expats ourselves, after all. 

Written by Ellen M

December 1, 2023 | , | 6 minute read

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