Living abroad? IRS requires tax filing by June 17.

United States citizens living outside of the United States may still owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has strict and far reaching tax laws. Tax laws that often extend beyond the borders of the country. As a result, anyone with citizenship will likely need to file with the IRS.

What if I do not owe taxes? The IRS often requires a tax filing, even for those who qualify for tax benefits that eliminate their tax obligations. A common example: the use of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or Foreign Tax Credit. Although this can greatly reduce the filer’s tax obligation, it is only official if the taxpayer actually files the return.

The IRS likely includes this requirement to better ensure it has a record of income and can verify the taxpayer’s eligibility for the claimed credit.

When do I need to file? Those who live abroad are bound by the same rules as those who live within country boundaries. The IRS expects you to file your tax returns by April 15. However, those who live abroad are also subject to an automatic, two-month extension. As such, those who live in foreign countries have until June 17 to file their returns.

What if I cannot meet this filing date? The IRS allows for an extension. If you cannot meet the date, request an extension to reduce the risk of additional penalties.

Is there anything else I should know? The IRS may require additional tax filings. The Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is one example. This form is required for those with foreign accounts over $10,000 at any point in the applicable tax year.

A failure to file required tax forms can result in serious penalties and fees. Proactive reporting can reduce these penalties. Contact an attorney to discuss your options.

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