IRS Reminds US Expats Of Filing Deadline

By Editorial 15 June, 2011

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed that taxpayers abroad qualifying for an automatic two-month extension must file their 2010 federal income tax returns by June 15, 2011.

The special June 15 filing deadline applies to US citizens and resident aliens who both live and work outside the US, and members of the military on duty outside the US. Taxpayers taking advantage of this extension must attach a statement to their return indicating which of these applies.

The IRS pointed out that e-filing offers the fastest and easiest way to meet the June 15 deadline, and most taxpayers abroad now qualify to use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their returns for free. With Free File, taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of USD58,000 or less can use brand-name software to prepare their returns and then e-file them for free.

This option may be especially attractive to taxpayers living and working abroad who claim the foreign earned income exclusion. That’s because the USD58,000 income limit applies after the exclusion of up to USD91,500 is subtracted, thus effectively making Free File available to many higher-income taxpayers.

Taxpayers who cannot meet the June 15 deadline can get an automatic extension until October 17, 2011. However, the IRS confirmed that this is only an extension of time to file, not an extension of time to pay. Interest, currently at the rate of 4% per year compounded daily, applies to any payment made after April 18, 2011. In some cases, a late payment penalty, usually 0.5% per month, applies to payments made after June 15, 2011.

The IRS has also taken the opportunity to remind US citizens and resident aliens that federal law requires them to report income from all sources, both foreign and domestic, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts.

Tags: Expatriates | Compliance | Tax | Tax Compliance | Law | Internal Revenue Service (IRS) | United States | Penalties | Individual Income Tax |


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