Americans living abroad always wonder about US expatriate tax return filing options. E-file is the most convenient and cheapest way to file American tax returns. However, U.S. citizens and green card holders might be required to file a paper tax return. Let’s review possible expat tax filing options.
This is the latest email from one of our clients. “My friends are Americans living abroad. They wonder how they can timely file their US expatriate tax returns. Also, they would like it to be delivered on time but the post mail is very unreliable in this developing country. How should they properly file American tax returns?”
When is the US expatriate tax return considered timely filed?
There are several things to keep in mind:
- US expatriate tax return must be mailed in an envelope with sufficient postage so it is not returned.
- American tax return must be postmarked no later than the due date. For example, Americans living abroad get an automatic extension until June 15 to file a US expat tax return. Consequently, if they file a paper tax return, the envelope must be postmarked as of June 15th.
- US tax return is considered to be filed when it is actually received by the IRS.
- Americans living abroad must check the correct mailing address for American tax returns. Please find below to learn where to file US tax return.
IRS address if a payment is NOT enclosed
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service, Austin, TX 73301-0215, USA
IRS address if a payment is enclosed
Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 1303, Charlotte, NC 28201-1303, USA
Americans working abroad can use 3 types of mail: Registered, Certified and Private Delivery.
Actual registration receipt and the date of registration serve as a proof of a timely filed US expatriate tax return.
Postmarked certified mail receipt is the evidence that the document was actually delivered to the IRS.
Private Delivery Services
There are several things to remember about Private Delivery Services.
- Private Delivery Services cannot deliver to P.O.Box address. The IRS established a separate mailing address for these carriers.
- A courier receipt is a proof of a timely filed US expat tax return.
- Each form comes with instructions about a specific mailing address in case of Private Delivery Services.
- Americans living abroad must use a list of Private Delivery Carriers determined by the IRS.
IRS designated private delivery services:
- DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service; DHL Next Day 10:30 am; DHL Next Day 12:00 pm; DHL Next Day 3:00 pm; and DHL 2nd Day Service.
- Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First
- United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.
IRS Address for Private Carriers
American expats who prefer to use the above private carriers should send a tax return to:
Austin – Internal Revenue Submission Processing Center
3651 South Interregional Highway 35, Austin TX 78741
Always check the IRS website for any address updates.
Americans living abroad must carefully choose a delivery option to timely file US expatriate tax returns. American expats who have questions about US expat tax preparation, FATCA, FBAR, PFIC, foreign corporation and other overseas tax issues, must consult an expat tax CPA that provides international tax services. International tax experts at Artio Partners are here to help you.