As US Expats, it´s important to take note of the typical deadlines which may be slightly different each year. Mark your calendar in advance of those deadlines and forward the needed information to your tax advisor by these dates.
- April 15, 2015 – US tax filing deadline and due date for all taxes liabilities
- June 15, 2015 – US tax abroad deadline for expats
- June 30, 2015 – Foreign Bank Account Report Form (AKA FinCen 114) is due
- October 15, 2015 – Final tax deadline for US tax abroad PROVIDED you have already applied for an extension
US Expat Tax Deadline of April 15th, 2015
Expats who usually file when residing in the US are accustomed to call April 15th ¨Tax Day¨. This situation changes slightly when you start residing outside of the US. In fact, generally, April 15th becomes your deadline, if you have received a Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement or a Form 1099 from work performed in the US in 2014. This special circumstance often affects recent expatriates.
Automatic Extensions for US Expats to June 15th, 2015
The IRS can be understanding too! Expats living abroad on a full time basis get a break from the tax authorities and get to file on June 15th, 2015. That automatic extension allows extra time to compile foreign tax information and data since reception of this information may vary from place to place.
Please note, this automatic extension until June 15th, 2015 is available for filing NOT for paying if there is tax due. Specifically, tax liabilities, if any, do not get the benefit of extension and will be payable at the latest on April 15th, 2015.
This, therefore, begs the question: How´s one supposed to know how much to pay? What we can recommend is to run a simulation of your return and pay the best estimate.
The reality is that the majority of US expatriates in countries where we do have clients rarely (to not say never) have owed taxes to the US. It usually happens either because the foreign jurisdiction has higher taxes or expatriates get to exclude up to roughly $100,000 of their Foreign Earned income from their US taxable income.
Requesting additional extension to file on October 15th, 2015.
Many things may happen and force the US expatriate to request an additional time to file: Missing documentation, missing income statements, need to meet the Physical Presence Test to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
Ask your tax advisor to have US Federal Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return completed and sent so you get to extend your filing deadline to October 15th, 2015.
If you unfortunately do not have an expat CPA, there´s absolutely nothing wrong with extending your return filing date with the folks at Official Payments. For a fee of $5.00, you´ll be able to complete the process by yourself.
FBAR Deadline: June 30, 2015
Bank accounts with balance over $10,000 in the aggregate, at any point of the year, are required to be filed with the Department of Revenue under the Foreign Bank Account Reporting regime. This is an essential part of being compliant tax wise in the US.
The June 30th, 2015 deadline for FBAR filing cannot be extended. However, since the 2012 tax year, the US treasury now accepts FBARs electronically, making the deadline easier to abide by.
It is extremely important that you do not overlook this critical part of filing US tax abroad. Some classic misconceptions of the definition of ¨Foreign Account¨ include:
- Brokerage, mutual funds and/or foreign trust: They need to be reported as they are considered Foreign Accounts
- Joint accounts with Non-US spouse: They need to be reported.
Please make sure to contact us should you have any questions with regards to your US Tax Filing, it would be our pleasure to assist you with getting this matter out of the way of your life as an expatriate!