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How to File a US Tax Extension Abroad for Free in 2020

Expat Tax Blog | Tax Tips for US Americans Abroad

File a US Tax Extension Abroad for Free

Do you need more time to file your US expat taxes? If so, you’ll need to file for an extension for the October 15 deadline. At MyExpatTaxes, you can file an extension completely free! Yes, you read that right. We’re going to cover exactly how to file a US tax extension abroad for free via our expat tax software.

How to File Free US Tax Extension

To file for the October 15 deadline, you can file your US tax extension easily.

Perform the Following Steps:

  1. Set up an account at MyExpatTaxes
  2. Give us consent to file on your behalf. To do that, check the Navigation Panel on the left and look for “File your extension” under “File your return,” highlighted in red in the screenshot below:

This will open up the following page:

Based on the information you have already provided, some or all of the information will be pre-filled. The four entries at the top should be relatively straightforward. If you need to make any edits, you can use the Edit links to jump to that page. Use the navigation panel to return to this page.

Some pointers for the fields at the bottom: For many Americans abroad, all of these fields will be 0. If you have paid taxes in previous years, or if you’re in your first full year abroad, you may owe some taxes. Ideally, add as much information as possible to your profile, so that we can get a good estimate of taxes owed. You can then use the estimates shown here to fill out the extension filing consent.

Once you have submitted your consent for us to file your extension, we’ll make a few last checks and let you know if anything else is needed. Then, we’ll notify you when your extension was accepted by the IRS!

Three Important Notes About Filing with MyExpatTaxes

  1. Once your extension is submitted through our software you can file your US taxes between July 15 and October 15 without penalties or interest fees.
  2. A tax extension is just an option if you want more time to file your US expat taxes. If you can file before the July 15 deadline, that is great.
  3. You are not locked or obligated to file future taxes with MyExpatTaxes if you decide to file an extension through us. You are still free to use other tax companies and softwares.

US Tax Extension Deadlines 2020

The typical US tax deadline extension for Americans abroad is June 15. This is an automatic extension that expats receive, whereas their fellow Americans back home do not have such a deal. But if you need to pay US taxes, you’ll need to do so before the April 15 deadline to avoid interest and fees.

However, due to the coronavirus this year, both Americans in the US and abroad can file and pay US taxes until July 15, 2020. This is for sure an exception and will most likely not be repeated next year.

Because the deadline is fast approaching, you may want to file an extension so you have more time to get your US taxes done. This is totally ok, and you can file for an extension through us for the October 15 deadline. 

FBAR Tax Extension Deadline

The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts – or FBAR – has the same deadline for this year. It is October 15th, which is an automatic extension for expats. Realistically you can say this is the FBAR deadline for Americans abroad. Therefore, you don’t need to file an extension, unless you want to file the FBAR by December 15.

The FBAR is a form by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network which needs to collect information about all your financial transactions while you live in a foreign country. The purpose of this form is to prevent illegal monetary activity, like international laundering.

You only need to file an FBAR if you have had $10,000 or more in your foreign bank accounts at any one time of the year. So if you have $10,001 for just one day you still need to file an FBAR.

Need More Support?

We’re here if you need us. We can help answer your US tax questions, and provide support if you’re an American or Green card holder abroad. Even if you need to catch up on missed or unfiled tax returns, you can also take advantage of our Streamlined Procedure. There is always a tax solution we can provide you with.

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