American expat tax deadline tomorrow…

American expatriates have an extra two months to get their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, but that grace period is now almost up. 

The estimated 8 million or so Americans who live outside the US must have filed their returns by the end of tomorrow, according to the IRS. Their homeland counterparts this year, meanwhile, were required to have their returns in by 18 April.

Such tax returns are expected to be posted to the IRS’s address in Austin, Texas.

The deadline for submitting the also-required Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs) this year is the same as it’s been since 1972, when the requirement was first introduced – 30 June – but next year it will move to the 15th, to coincide with the main tax return deadline.

Unlike regular tax returns, FBARS are required to be filed online, according to
David Treitel, managing director of London-based American Tax Returns.

FBARs must be filed by all American citizens, no matter where they live, who have US$10,000 or more in a non-US bank account at any point during the tax year in question, even if that balance is held in the account for less than a day, tax experts say.

‘No need to panic’

According to Treitel, those American expats who have failed to get their tax returns completed at this point needn’t panic, as the IRS is relatively laid back about allowing people to file for an extension – providing that the necessary form,  No. 4868,  is postmarked on 15 June or earlier.

The extension is four months for those living abroad, although you can also obtain additional extensions as needed, he says.

The IRS’s website has a page explaining the filing requirements, which may be viewed  by clicking here.

For anyone whose enthusiasm for the subject of income tax is limited, a collection of famous quotations on tax, also on the IRS’s website, can sometimes be restorative. To read about this collection, and to see some additional quotes on the subject of tax, click here. 

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