Filing your U.S. taxes when living abroad can be confusing enough—but when you add other factors such as Covid-19 deadline changes and extension deadlines to the equation, it’s important to get the facts about filing your U.S. income taxes as an expat.
These facts about how to file your taxes and an extension, if needed, for your U.S. income taxes when living abroad are a good starting point to learning the applicable rules. Be sure to consult with our firm if you need additional assistance.
Q: When is “Tax Day” for American citizens living abroad?
A: April 15 is usually “tax day” for U.S. citizens, but for Americans living abroad, the due date for taxes is two months later on June 15, 2021. These due dates are for Federal income taxes for U.S. expats only. Be sure to check any state or local tax requirements for locales where you may do business.
Q: Has the IRS extended the income tax filing deadline for U.S. citizens living abroad due to COVID-19?
A: The IRS has not issued any specific guidance regarding the June 15, 2021 tax filing deadline for Americans living abroad even though it has extended the income tax filing deadline for those individuals living in the United States. If you do not need to file an extension for your U.S. expat income taxes, then plan to file by the regular due date of June 15, 2021.
Q: Are there any minimum income thresholds for US tax filing for expats?
A: Yes. The 2020 tax year minimum income thresholds which require you to file a U.S. tax return if you live outside of America are $12,400 for individuals, $24,800 for married couples, and $400 of self-employment income. The threshold is $5 of any income for Americans who are married and filing their taxes separately with someone who is not a citizen of the United States or does not have Permanent Resident status.
Q: What should an American expat do if they need to file an extension on their income tax filing?
A: The process for filing an extension for your U.S. income taxes when living abroad requires you to file an extension for your personal income tax return before June 15 using Form 4868 . Once you file an extension you will have until October 15, 2021 to file your U.S. expat taxes.
It is important to file all necessary tax forms if you are a citizen living outside of the United States both for your individual taxes and any business or financial interests you may have. If you have questions about your income tax filings as a U.S> citizen living abroad, our tax professionals can help. Contact us now.
Q. Are there any other tax extensions that U.S. citizens living abroad should be aware of?
A: Yes. If you meet certain requirements, you may qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, the foreign housing exclusion, and/or the foreign housing deduction. The IRS states that these benefits may be available to you if you have foreign earned income, your tax home is in a foreign country, and you are one of the following:
- A U.S. citizen who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year,
- A U.S. resident alien who is a citizen or national of a country with which the United States has an income tax treaty in effect and who is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries for an uninterrupted period that includes an entire tax year, or
- A U.S. citizen or a U.S. resident alien who is physically present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during any period of 12 consecutive months.
If you need more time to file for these benefits using IRS Form 2555, you can get an additional two months to do so by using Form 2350 on the IRS website.