Life as an American abroad is exciting, challenging, and for the most part – busy. However, the seemingly small but important things (like remembering the tax deadline) tend to go over our heads. Luckily, with Facebook groups and YouTube ads present in our day and age, Americans abroad are being reminded more and more about how and when to file US taxes to stay tax compliant.
Knowing the tax deadlines as an American abroad, however, is very important. This is because if you miss a deadline or two, you may be liable to pay for tax penalties that could have been prevented.
In this post, we’ll be covering the essential things US citizens abroad need to know about the April 15th deadline, and whether an extension is possible.
An Automatic Extention for Expats
Normally, if you’re a US citizen living in the states, you must pay and file your taxes by April 15 (or the next available workday) of the following year.
However, there is good news for American expats. An automatic 2-month extension to report your worldwide income to the IRS is applied. This means that the US tax deadline for US citizens is actually June 15th.
Having this adjusted tax deadline for June 15th is an expat tax benefit Americans abroad can enjoy! But, if for reason, you’d like to extend the tax filing date, you can file a free extension through us before the June 15th deadline. You’ll then have time to file your taxes by the October 15th deadline.
Additionally, December 15th is the very last day to file your expat taxes before the next tax season and year. In order to file by this date, you’ll need to submit a personal request for this additional deadline to the IRS, as there is no standard form.
Earliest Time to File US Taxes
The earliest time to file US expat taxes as an American abroad would be in January. The start of the new year means the start of a new tax season. But, the tax season is named as the year before the actual, current year we’re in.
Interested in the know when you can start filing for the new year? Some people like to get their taxes out of the way in the beginning of the year, so it’s acceptable to start filing US taxes in January. However, you do have 6 months until June and can use our software to get them all done in 30 minutes or less.
How to Know if You Owe Money
The US is only one of two countries that have citizen-based taxation. Therefore, any foreign-sourced income is going to be taxed at certain rates just like money being earned in the US.
As an American abroad, if you owe any tax for last year despite using benefits like the FEIE, it must be paid by April 15. Otherwise, if your payment doesn’t get in on time, a small interest (with no penalties) is charged.
It’s a complicated benefit. The tax deadline for expats is June 15th, yet you will need to pay any due taxes by April 15. The interest rates charged for payments made after April 15th is The Federal Short-Term Rate + 3%.
So how do you know what to pay if you haven’t filed yet? It’s a chicken and egg scenario.
If the following applies to you:
- you live and worked abroad for at least a full tax year (Jan 1 – Dec 31)
- you will exclude your total income from US taxes with the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
- you make under $105K USD with no US source income
…then you most likely do NOT pay any taxes.
And if you pay no taxes, there will be no interest on your late payment. Why? Because 5% interest on $0 is $0 – so there’s no stress. You can instead look forward to taking advantage of the extended tax deadline for expats!
If for some reason you want to extend the filing date, October 15 is the final tax deadline for expats. In order to get such an extension, you will need to submit a filing extension form by June 15.
Need Help Filing Taxes?
MyExpatTaxes has a one-of-a-kind expat tax software solution for Americans abroad. Created by an American living abroad who understood the struggle of 9 million Americans abroad, she and a team of engineering masterminds created MyExpatTaxes. It became an answer to improve government services regarding expat taxation.
Through lots of website work, the team created MyExpatTaxes to provide expats the opportunity to get everything done (smoothly and efficiently) in under 30 minutes at an incredibly good price.
You can stop paying your tax professional hundreds of dollars to get your US taxes filed. Instead, you can take the power back in your hands and pay 149 Euro for a US expat tax software with raving reviews.
It’s the only software out there that helps Americans abroad stay tax compliant in an empowering way. Take only 2 minutes to sign up. Then start the process of filing your taxes.
While walking through our software, you will take minutes to fill out our forms. We are very mindful of people’s time and privacy, so we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.
This post was updated on January 10, 2020