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American expats: Mark these tax deadlines on your calendar for 2017

With just under a month until the first U.S. tax deadline, affectionately known as “Tax Day” to all Americans, it’s time to begin thinking about tax prep even if you’re living abroad.Tax with flag font

While expats receive an automatic extension, it’s never too early to begin gathering documents and other important information, since that can be a time-consuming process.

The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be come tax time.

Here are the important deadlines you should be aware of!

Tax Day – Monday, April 18th

This is the first tax deadline of 2017 and is the date by which taxpayers living in the U.S. would need to file their tax returns. Traditionally, Tax Day falls on April 15th; however, it falls on April 18th this year due to how the weekend falls and the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC.

As a U.S. expat, fortunately, you receive a two-month extension for filing your expat tax return – but it’s important to note that if you owe taxes, they are still due on Tax Day, or interest will begin to accrue until the tax is paid.

If you think you’ll end up owing taxes (though most expats don’t, thanks to deductions and exclusions), it’s a good idea to file by April 18th, so you’ll know exactly what you owe and can pay the balance without incurring interest.

Expat Tax Deadline – June 15th

If you’re living overseas on April 18th, you receive an automatic extension, making your taxes due June 15th. This extension gives you more time to receive foreign tax documents, which often have different delivery dates than those within the U.S. You’ll also file FATCA Form 8938 at this time if you meet the filing requirements.

This is also the date by which you’d need to request an extension until the October 15th deadline if you aren’t quite ready to file yet.

Final Tax Deadline – October 16th

If you requested an extension in June, your expat tax return will be due on October 16th. At times, you’ll find that you’re still waiting on tax documents, having trouble finding income statements or perhaps you just need more time to meet the Physical Presence Test to qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion – so having this additional extension can be very helpful.

Foreign Bank Account Report – Big Changes This Year

Perhaps the biggest thing that US expats need to be aware of this year is the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) deadline now falls on Tax Day (April 18th).

However, similar to the expat tax process, Americans abroad receive an automatic two-month extension until June 15th for filing FBAR.

According to the FinCEN website, U.S. taxpayers can receive an additional extension until the October 16th deadline – automatically – if you aren’t quite ready to file your FBAR by the April or June deadlines. As a note, this automatic extension for 2017 is meant to help taxpayers acclimate to the new deadline requirements, so it likely won’t be that way forever!

As a reminder, you must file an FBAR if you’re a U.S. citizen with overseas financial accounts totaling more than $10,000 at any point during the year – regardless of your age.

Filing your FBAR by the October deadline is very important, as penalties for failing to file are very steep and add up quickly!

State Taxes Vary by State

You may be responsible for filing state taxes if you lived or worked in certain states at any point during the tax year before moving abroad.dollars and flag

While many states follow the April 18th federal filing deadline, there are some with different deadlines.

It’s important to stay on top of the deadlines and requirements in your state, to ensure you’re fully prepared as the tax deadlines approach.

DAVID McKEEGAN

DAVID McKEEGAN

This post was written by David McKeegan, co-founder of Greenback Expat Tax Services. Greenback specializes in the preparation of US expat taxes for Americans living abroad. Greenback offers straightforward pricing, a simple, hassle-free process, and CPAs and IRS Enrolled Agents who have extensive experience in the field of expat tax preparation. For more information about FBAR, expat taxes or Greenback, please visit www.greenbacktaxservices.com.

 

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