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Expat Taxes FAQS

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q.   As a U.S. citizen, I live and work abroad with no U.S. based taxable income.  I have income from a foreign source. Do I have to file a U.S. tax return?

  1. Yes. The United States taxes it is citizens and lawful permanent residents on worldwide income.

  1. Q.    I am a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident  and I paid taxes to a foreign country on my foreign income in that country.  Will I pay U.S. taxes on that same foreign income ( double taxation)?

  1. To minimize double taxation, in certain cases, US taxpayers can take the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or take the Foreign Tax Credit or deduction on their tax return. In some instances, taxpayers may be able to also exclude housing costs. In other cases, depending upon the type and amount of income, taxpayers may be able to exclude certain income and take the tax credit for income not excluded.

  1. Q.    When are U.S. tax returns due?

  1. U.S. federal tax returns are due April 15th. However, if you are a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident living and working abroad, you will receive an automatic 2-month extension to file your tax return and pay. When filing your tax return, you will need to attach a statement to indicate how you meet the requirements for the automatic 2-month extension.

If you need additional time to file beyond the automatic 2-month extension, you can request an additional 4-month  extension to file by filing form 4868. This extension request must be filed within the automatic 2-month extension period.  You should pay any taxes due with the extension request to avoid interest. The additional 4-month extension is not an extension to pay. You may be charged a penalty for any tax due amount not paid within the automatic 2-month extension period.

Finally, you can also request a 6-month extension by filing form 4848 by April 15th .  Requesting 6 months to extend the due date by April 15 th  includes the 2-month automatic extension. In other words, you are not extending the filing deadline 6 months in addition to the 2-month automatic extension.

  1. Q. Does the automatic 2-month extension to file and pay relieve me of penalty and interest on         taxes due not paid by April 15th?

  1. The automatic 2-month extension does not relieve you of interest due on any tax not paid by April 15th.

  1. Q.  I am a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident and I have lived abroad for several years. I did not realize that I needed to file U.S. tax returns. How can I correct this oversight?

  1. The IRS currently offers  Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures for eligible U.S. taxpayers who reside outside of the United States.  U.S. taxpayers can use these procedures to file and pay all taxes and interest due for the  following:
  • Each of the most recent 3 years for which the U.S. tax return and applicable information return and schedules.
  • Each of the most recent 6 years for which the FBAR due date has passed, file any delinquent FBARs (FinCEN Form 114).

For more information, please contact our office. 

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