Tax filing deadline approaches overseas
April may be the most well-known tax filing deadline, but it actually doesn’t apply to everyone. Last year, almost 18.7 million taxpayers filed after the April deadline. That number could include many of the estimated 8.7 million U.S. citizens living abroad and military service members stationed abroad on the April deadline who don’t have to file a tax return until June 15. It could also include military service members stationed in a combat zone who have at least 180 days after they leave a combat zone to file their returns.
“Expats surprised by the June 15 tax filing deadline – not because it is after the April deadline, but because there is a U.S. tax filing deadline for them even if they did not earn income in the U.S. – should not panic,” said Roland Sabates, operations director of H&R Block’s expat filing services. “They’re not alone and in fact, the IRS has established streamlined filing compliance procedures to help expats like them who were unaware that they need to file a tax return.”
The streamlined filing compliance procedures allow taxpayers to come into full compliance and minimize penalties when they file prior-year returns. U.S. expats should understand the eligibility requirements for the program and collect necessary paperwork dating back as many as six years.
Taxpayers who cannot collect the necessary paperwork or complete an accurate return by June 15 can avoid the failure-to-file penalty by filing an extension, which will move their deadline to October 17. However, they still need to pay any tax due to avoid late-payment penalties. To estimate their 2015 tax liability, taxpayers should begin with previous years’ returns to compare income, withholding and life changes that could impact their return, like a dependent leaving home.
For more information, taxpayers should visit H&R Block Expat Tax Services, where they can access expat tax advisors through the virtual service or to find the nearest office in more than 14 countries and U.S. territories.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 700 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3.0 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/newsroom.