For many expatriates and other taxpayers, the ability to file for an automatic extension is extremely welcome. For many individuals, the annual April tax filing and payment deadline simply comes too soon. The taxpayer may not have time to get his or her documents in order. Alternatively, the taxpayer may have questions regarding income earned overseas, foreign accounts, or an array of other tax concerns and may need additional time to seek tax guidance from a professional. However, regardless of whether you live in the United States or in a foreign nation, the extended filing date is quickly approaching.
At U.S. Tax Help, CPA Ted Kleinman has provided careful tax guidance for U.S. taxpayers living at home and abroad for more than 20 years. Ted can help with an array of tax issues including filing income taxes, making foreign account disclosures, and fixing issues created by unfiled or unpaid taxes as a U.S. expat. To discuss how ted can assist with your tax concerns, call U.S. Tax Help at (541) 923-0903 or contact the firm online.
The Final Extended Tax Filing Deadline is October 17, 2016
Most expatriates are already aware that by virtue of living outside of the United States, expats are automatically granted a filing extension from the regular April 15th tax filing and payment deadline (the deadline was April 18, 2016, this year due to a federal holiday and weekend). Thus, all qualifying expats automatically have an additional two months – until June 15 – to file their taxes.
However, taxpayers can request additional time to file their taxes by filing IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing Form 4868 can grant a taxpayer an additional several months of time to file income taxes. Taxpayers who file Form 4868 to obtain an additional extension are not required to file their taxes until October 15, 2016. While that date may have seemed to be ages away when you filed the extension, it is now a pressing deadline.
Filing for a Tax Extension of Time to File Does Not Generally Grant an Extension of Time to Pay
It is essential for taxpayers to note that two distinct responsibilities exist when it comes to income tax obligations. First, a duty exists that obligates taxpayers to file their tax return. Second, an independent duty also exists for taxpayers to pay taxes that have been lawfully assessed. The failure to satisfy either obligation can result in penalties and fines. The failure to satisfy both obligations can result in penalties to punish both failures to fulfill tax obligations.
As for the failure to pay penalty, its application can become somewhat complex for expatriates. As we have already discussed, qualifying expats can automatically qualify for a two-month filing extension. This automatic extension to June is distinct from an extension filed for under Form 4868 because it will also excuse some late payment penalties. That is, a taxpayer living abroad who qualifies for the tax filing extension to June and fails to make a sufficient payment will have penalties assessed from the June deadline rather than the original April deadline. However, interest on any unpaid tax will not receive the same relief and will be computed from the original April deadline.
Taxpayers who can only qualify for an extension by filing Form 4868 should be aware that the special handling described above does not typically apply. Taxpayers who file only Form 4868 and do not qualify on the basis of living abroad or foreign military service will face penalties starting from the original April filing deadline.
Work with an Experienced Tax Professional for US Expats
Avoiding the imposition of additional penalties and fees often turns on understanding key provisions in the U.S. Tax Code and other IRS policy documents. For decades, Ted Kleinman has provided careful tax guidance to taxpayers living at home and expats living abroad. Ted can assess a taxpayer’s unique individual situation and put his more than twenty years of practical experience to work for the taxpayer. He can work to ensure continued tax compliance or to fix issues relating to unfiled taxes, unreported income, undisclosed offshore accounts or entities, and many other tax problems and concerns.
To schedule a confidential tax consultation with Ted at U.S. Tax Help, please call the firm at (541) 923-0903. Alternatively, please feel free to contact Ted online using the form located in the upper right-hand sidebar.