Expat Essentials

The expat tax deadline is just around the corner … are you prepared?

American tax deadline

The first tax deadline has come and gone for many Americans, but if you’re a U.S. expat, you may just be starting to prepare for the June expat tax deadline. Still need to get started on your taxes? Don’t miss the details you need to know as we approach the filing deadline!

U.S. Tax Return

If you were living abroad on Tax Day (which fell on April 18th this year), you receive an automatic two-month extension for filing your expat taxes – making your deadline June 15th. You also have the option of filing an additional extension request, making your taxes due on the final deadline of October 16th.

U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form 1040.

You should note, however, that any taxes owed were technically due on Tax Day (April 18th) and you are responsible for paying interest on any amount owed until the IRS receives your payment. If you don’t know how much you will owe and are not quite ready to file your expat taxes, you can use Form 1040-ES to determine your estimated payment and submit a payment based on that amount.

Also, if you moved back to the U.S. prior to Tax Day, your Federal taxes were actually due April 18th. If you need to file late taxes, it’s important to get caught up right away to avoid large penalties and interest!

Big FBAR Changes for 2017

Did you have more than $10,000 in foreign bank accounts at any point during the 2016 tax year? If so, you will need to submit an FBAR to the U.S. Treasury via the FinCEN department.

For the first time, the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) deadline now follows the U.S. tax filing deadlines:

  • April 18th: This was the first FBAR deadline of 2017.
  • June 15th: This is the FBAR deadline for U.S. expats.
  • October 16th: To help U.S. taxpayers become acclimated to the new FBAR deadline, there is the option for an automatic extension until the October tax deadline.

This deadline change should actually make it easier for expats to stay compliant with reporting requirements, as you can mark it off your to-do list at the same time you file your expat tax return!

State Tax Return

While this will not apply to all expats, some states require residents to file state tax returns – and if you lived in the state at any point in 2016, you may need to file state taxes. Some states follow the Federal filing deadline (April 18th), but still others have their own due date requirements. It’s important to stay on top of your state filing requirements, so as not to miss a deadline.

Where to Begin

Now that you’re aware of the filing deadlines, it’s time to start thinking about getting started on your expat taxes. A good place to begin is by gathering important tax documents – whether you file on your own or work with a tax professional, this information is pertinent and will be needed to complete your tax forms. You may want to review a list of documents needed for filing expat taxes to ensure you have everything you need before starting your tax prep.


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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