For 2021, the US tax filing deadline for expats to file is June 15. This deadline is a result of an automatic two-month extension that the IRS provides to Americans Abroad.
Taxes are something that none of us want to deal with, but we all have to take care of them. Especially if you’re a US citizen who doesn’t live in the US – you have the legal responsibility to file your taxes with the IRS.
Although filing US expat taxes sounds like a hassle, it doesn’t have to be! Here’s everything you’ll need to know!
Who Needs to File US Expat Taxes?
Essentially, every American and Green Card Holder, whether they’re living in the United States or abroad, has to file US taxes, as long as their income is over the tax filing threshold.
There is a special group of citizens known as “Accidental Americans” who have to file taxes as well. This group might include those who were born abroad to a US citizen parent who claimed US citizenship for them, or those who have obtained a US birth certificate or citizenship around the time of their birth, even if they’ve been living abroad for more time than they’ve lived in the US.
If you’re a US citizen and meet the income filing threshold, you must file US expat taxes. Below is a breakdown of the various filing categories and the minimum gross income you need to be required to file US expat taxes:
- Single: $12,400
- Married filing jointly: $28,400
- Married filing separately: $5 (yep, just $5!)
- Head of household: $18,650
2021 US Tax Filing Deadline for Expats
Officially, the US tax filing deadline for American expats is June 15, 2021. The IRS grants expats an automatic two-month extension to file US taxes and is quite different than the typical April 15 tax deadline for Americans living in the US.
However, if you know you’re not going to be able to meet this summer deadline, don’t panic! You can request an extension, which would allow you to hold off with filing until October 15.
Luckily, MyExpatTaxes can help you file for an extension quickly and for free! Simply set up your account and select the “File Your Extension” option. Then, you’ll be led to fill out some basic information, you’ll give your consent for us to file your extension for you, and we’ll take care of the rest!
Consequences for Not Filing
You’ve probably wondered at some point, “Why do I, an American expat, even have to file my US expat taxes in the first place? What would happen if I didn’t file?” You might think that the US government would forget about you since you don’t live in the US, but that’s not the case. Failure to file your taxes can result in sizable penalties and fines, and the longer you go without paying, the more interest your amount accrues.
Penalties for not filing your taxes can range based on a variety of factors, but your potential fine could be anywhere from 5% of your unpaid tax amount all the way up to $25,000 or even, in some extreme cases, jail time. Not paying your taxes abroad can lead to some serious legal issues, so it’s best just to bite the bullet and get it done!
Make Up Years of Not Filing Penalty-Free
If you’re already behind on your taxes as a US citizen abroad, and are worried about catching up, we understand the stress of the situation. It can be overwhelming to try to get back on track after years of not filing.
Still, filing your US expat taxes late is so much better than not filing them at all! As we discussed above, filing for an extension or paying a portion of your taxes (even if you can’t pay the full amount) and working out a payment plan with the IRS are two great ways to start to get back on track.
Beyond that, MyExpatTaxes can help you make up on your missed years of filing US expat taxes without any penalties. The IRS has created a Streamlined Procedure to help expats get back on track with taxes from previous years.
MyExpatTaxes expat tax software can help you catch up on up to 4 years of tax returns in just a couple of hours! You might be eligible for this program if you’ve been living outside of the United States for at least 330 days in one (or more) of the last three years.
Use the Best-Selling US Tax Software for Expats
Now you know the filing deadline for Americans abroad – June 15. Secondly, whether you’re behind on your US expat taxes, need help with this year’s taxes, or want clarification on the potential benefits you could receive to reduce the taxes you owe, MyExpatTaxes can help.
We are dedicated specifically to assisting US expats, allowing for more knowledgeable and personalized service than what tax companies can provide. Plus, we’re proud to have been recognized as the Best US Tax Software for Expatriates by The Balance!
For more information about our services and to start getting on track with your US expat taxes as an American living abroad, contact us! Otherwise, file expat taxes today!
Deadline to file if you owe taxes to the IRS. Sign up now to start filing!