Just like most taxpayers in the United States are required to file U.S. tax returns and pay any taxes due by April 15th (Note: for the 2017 tax year, the date is April 17th), expats living and working in another country as a U.S. citizen are also required to file.
However, if you’re living abroad, the rules for expat tax filing deadlines are a little different.
2017 Tax Year
|Filing deadline||April 17, 2018|
|Filing deadline for expats||June 15, 2018|
|Filing deadline by requesting extension||October 15, 2018|
|Deadline to pay tax due||April 17, 2018|
Here’s what you need to know:
- Most expats qualify for an automatic two-month filing extension. This means your return is due by June 15, 2018.
- You must pay any taxes due by April 17, 2018 even if you're an expat filing your return by June 15, 2018.
- If you don't pay the tax due by April 17, 2018, the IRS will not assess a Failure to Pay Penalty if you file and pay by June 15, 2018. You will, however, be charged interest on the unpaid amount.
Tax Benefits For Expats
Expats are required to file U.S. tax returns each year, but sometimes tax benefits available to them result in no U.S. taxes owed. However, if any of the following situations apply to you, it’s possible that you may still owe U.S. taxes.
- You live and work in a country with lower tax rates than the U.S.
- You're not taxed on your foreign investments, or
- You still receive U.S. income
Estimated Tax Payments
If you’re living outside the U.S. and usually owe U.S. taxes, you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS. An expat tax expert can help you figure those quarterly payments so you can avoid end-of-year penalties.
Your U.S. tax information is still reported on a calendar-year basis even if you are living in a country that follows a non-calendar tax year (the United Kingdom and Australia, for example).
You can request an automatic six-month extension of time to file if you live in a country with a non-calendar tax year. The extension can give you more time to gather information before the end of the tax year of the country where you live.
The expat tax filing deadline with an extension is October 15, 2018. However, you must request this extension by filing a form with the IRS by the original due date of your return.
FBAR Filing Deadline
The FBAR filing deadline coincides with the U.S. tax deadline of April 17th, but an automatic six-month extension is available. Visit the FBAR & FATCA Information page to learn more.