Expat Tax Returns are due by October 15; additional extension is available until December 15

By ZM Ishmurzina

American expatriates receive an automatic extension to file an expatriate tax return by June 15. October 15 is an upcoming deadline for expat tax returns.

American expats who were running behind and could not complete the expat tax preparation by June 15 had to file the form 4868. The form 4868 is the Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return that has to be sent directly to the Internal Revenue Service. The form 4868 should be filed by April 15 or June 15 to receive an extension until October 15.

What should American expatriates do if they didn’t file expat tax returns by October 15?

There is another opportunity to extend a filing date. American expats living abroad can request a discretionary 2-month additional extension of time to file their expatriate tax return until December 15 for calendar year taxpayers.

The procedure to apply for this additional extension is the following. In order to receive this additional 2 month-extension, an American expat must send a letter that will outline the reasons that a U.S. expatriate needs the additional 2 months to complete his tax return on overseas taxes. The letter must be sent to the Internal Revenue Service by October 15 for calendar year taxpayers to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service Center

Austin, TX 73301-0215 USA

The Internal Revenue Service will not send any confirmation of approval unless the request for this extension has been denied. That is why it is important to send the letter by Certified Mail Return Receipt or another method to ensure that you have a proof that the extension was sent timely.

This discretionary 2-month additional extension is not extended to Americans living abroad who have an approved extension of time to file on Form 2350. This form is available for U.S. citizens and resident aliens abroad who expect to qualify for special tax treatment like physical presence or bona fide residence test.

If you need help with filing your expat tax returns, please seek help of an expatriate tax preparation firm that specializes in international tax services. At Artio Partners we have helped Americans from over 75 countries.