Paying Late US Expat Taxes as an American Abroad in 2024

December 1, 2023 | | 3 minute read
Expat Tax Blog. Tax Tips for US Americans abroad.

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An asian woman leans over her laptop with credit card in hand. She is paying late US expat taxes as an American abroad.

It’s no question that filing a tax return can be a headache, and the situation of paying late US expat taxes as an American abroad only gets more complicated. When do you have to pay whatever you owe? What happens if you just don’t pay? We’ve got all those answers and more right here. 

US Expat Tax Payment Deadlines

During the pandemic, the IRS changed the payment deadline from April 15th to May 17th. In 2024, this is not the case. You must pay your taxes by April 15th, 2024 if you’re owing money to the IRS.

Do Expats Need to Pay US Taxes?

We know what you’re probably wondering: “Do I even need to pay taxes as a US expat?” More than likely, the answer is no.

US citizens abroad are still required to file their taxes with the IRS, but the vast majority of expats aren’t required to pay anything. Tax benefits such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and the Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) typically cover all the income you earn. Through them, you probably won’t owe anything.

However, benefits like the FEIE only go so far. If you have a particularly high global income (over $120,000 in regard to FEIE), then you may owe taxes to the IRS.  

What if I Can’t Pay Owed Taxes by April 15th?

If you’ve determined that you do, in fact, owe taxes to the IRS, pay them by April 15th. But what if you already know you’re not going to be able to make that deadline? You’ve got a few options.

First, you should definitely go ahead and file as an American living abroad. You can incur extra fines or penalties for not filing your US expat taxes on time, so don’t hesitate!

However, you can request an extension to file until October 15th. Keep in mind, though, that this is only an extension to FILE your taxes, not to PAY them. Any taxes you owe still need to be paid by April 15th.

If you’re not able to pay the full amount of taxes that you owe by April 15th, but can pay a portion of them, go ahead and do so. Paying even a small amount of your owed taxes can help to reduce any penalties that you may incur. It will also let the IRS know that you’re not simply avoiding paying.

On that same note, contact the IRS and set up a payment plan as soon as possible. You don’t have to wait for a tax bill to come in in order to set up a payment plan! Either submit a Form 9465 (also known as an Installment Agreement Request) or apply for a payment plan on the official IRS website.   

Consequences for Paying Late Expat Taxes

At this point, you’ve probably got another question: “What will actually happen if I pay what I owe on my tax return late as a US expat abroad?” There are quite a few consequences you could find yourself facing if you don’t manage to pay your taxes on time.

If you don’t pay by the return date, you could be struck with the following penalties:

  • “Failure to pay” penalty if you don’t pay on time
  • “Failure to pay properly estimated tax” penalty if you miss your quarterly estimated tax payment
  • “Dishonored check” penalty if your bank doesn’t honor your form of payment

Basically if American expats doesn’t make their payments on time, they’ll get struck with penalties.

What many people don’t realize is that that penalty increases the longer you go without paying. If you really wait a long time, you could pay up to 25% of the amount you owe in penalties alone. This is on top of the tax amount you already owe! 

Solution for Paying Late US Taxes

At this point, it should go without saying that you should pay as much as possible, and as soon as possible. This will help avoid or reduce penalties and fees.

If you’re worried about not being able to pay your US expat taxes on time, or if you’re dealing with trying to catch up on your back taxes, the ordeal can be even more overwhelming than your usual filing. Luckily, we at MyExpatTaxes can help!

Starting with our expat tax software is a swift and uncomplicated process to figure out your payment obligations to the IRS, even if you’re dealing with back taxes as an American expat. Whether you prefer navigating your taxes independently with our user-friendly software or if you need extra assistance, our team of experts is ready to guide you through the entire process.

We’ll make sure you can take advantage of as many tax benefits as are available to you. Plus, we’ll help reduce the amount you owe overall and keeping more money in your wallet where it belongs! 

Stay compliant with your return and forget the stresses of paying late US expat taxes as an American abroad. Sign up with us today and claim all your Stimulus checks!

Written by Michelle H.

December 1, 2023 | | 3 minute read

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