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IRS Warns US Expats Of Filing Deadlines

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

United States citizens and resident aliens living overseas who qualified for an automatic two-month extension after the regular April 15 tax filing date must file their 2013 federal income tax returns by June 16.

The IRS explained that, if an individual is a US citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns, and paying estimated tax, are generally the same as if the taxpayer resided in the US. Federal law requires US citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts, on their federal income tax return.

Eligible taxpayers get one additional day because the normal June 15 extended due date falls on Sunday this year. To use the two-month extension, taxpayers must attach a statement to their tax return explaining their situation abroad.

Taxpayers abroad can now use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their returns. This means both US citizens and resident aliens living abroad with adjusted gross incomes of USD58,000 or less can use software to prepare their returns, and then e-file them for free. A second option, Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, has no income limit and is best suited to people who are comfortable preparing their own tax return.

Taxpayers who cannot meet the June 16 deadline can also get an extension until October 15, 2014. However, the IRS stressed that this is an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. Interest, currently at the rate of three percent per year compounded daily, applies to any payment made after April 15, 2014. In some cases, a late payment penalty –usually 0.5 percent of the sum per month – applies to payments made after June 16.

Taxpayers abroad, regardless of income, can use Free File to request the additional tax-filing extension to October 15. Alternatively, eligible taxpayers can download and file Form 4868, available on the IRS website.

Separately, it was added, US persons with foreign accounts whose aggregate value exceeded USD10,000 at any time during 2013 must file electronically with the Treasury Department a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

Form 114 replaces TD F 90-22.1, the FBAR form used in the past. It is due to the Treasury Department by June 30, 2014, must be filed electronically, and is only available online through the BSA e-Filing System website. This due date cannot be extended and income tax filing extensions will not extend the FBAR filing due date.