United States citizens and resident aliens living abroad may still need to file taxes for the 2018 tax year. Tax obligations are broad and the reach of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is long — often extending past the country’s borders.
If you do need to file and missed the April 15 deadline, there is good news. The IRS applies an automatic extension. This two-month extension results in a deadline of June 17. As such, if you can complete all necessary forms and paperwork and get the filing mailed within the next week you can likely avoid any late fees.
However, it is important to note that payment was due April 15. Although additional late penalties may not apply, the IRS will likely apply a 6 percent interest rate to any payment, compounded daily, to any payment that was due.
If you cannot file by June 17, the IRS will allow an additional extension. The extension pushes the due date back to October 15. However, the taxpayer will need to officially request the extension and should keep in mind that the interest rate noted above will continue to compound.
Some tips that can help ease the process include:
- Electronic filing. The IRS allows for electronic filing. This can save some time compared to mailing a traditional paper form.
- Currency check. Those who are living in a different country may use a different form of currency on a daily basis. When filing taxes with the IRS, make sure you are reporting in United States dollars.
Those who are not sure their financial accounts are in full compliance with US tax laws are wise to carefully review their obligations. A failure to properly report can result in serious consequences including potential imprisonment.