Final Deadline for Filing a US Income Tax Return is Quickly Approaching
October 15 is almost here. If you requested a 6-month tax filing extension it’s time to get your tax documents in order and get in touch with Taxes for Expats.
The IRS offers 2 tax filing extensions beyond April 15 for taxpayers who – for one reason or another – needed more time to prepare their US income tax returns. This year more than 12M US Persons requested an extension to October 15, and most of them have yet to file.
You may be exempt from the imposition of the October 15 deadline if you are an active US Military Member serving in a designated Combat Zone or living in a region of the United States which has been severely impacted by flooding.
Members of the US Armed Forces serving in Combat Zones have the luxury of having their tax obligations come to a halt. That means Military Personnel serving in a Combat Zone are not required to file a US income tax return until they have completed their Combat Zone term; so a tax return won’t yet be due if you are stationed in a Combat Zone on October 15.
If you are an active Military Member serving in a designated Combat Zone, you should already have contacted the IRS. If you haven’t notified the IRS of your Combat Zone term, you are advised to take this vital step as soon as possible. Even though the IRS has suspended tax refunds, there are still limited employees working at certain branches.
Another group of US Taxpayers who will not be required to file a tax return by October 15 even if they applied for one is a select group who live in certain regions of Colorado which were heavily flooded. If you’re not sure if you’re exempt from a tax due date of October 15, get expert advice from a tax professional right away.
Sometimes US Expats are forced to file for a filing extension because of not having received important and relevant tax documents from their host country. There are other situations in which it’s more of a ‘waiting until the last minute’ scenario.
Generally speaking, tax professionals tend to discourage late filing for most stateside US Citizens. While some have valid reasons for requesting a tax filing extension from the IRS, many more are simply putting off the inevitable.
US Expats are typically responsible for the majority of 6-month tax filing extensions. This is primarily due to the fact that the US taxes worldwide income and some foreign tax documents are not ready by the time US income taxes are due on their original date of April 15.
Get your tax documents in order so your US income tax return gets filed on time.
One of the problems with requesting a maximum extension simply to put off filing a tax return is that important tax documents tend to get lost in the shuffle. Take a look a look at your tax documents in your possession to make sure you’re prepared to file an electronic return or have your tax return postmarked by October 15.
If you find you need certain documents, you may be able to get them rapidly by contacting a tax preparation service like Taxes for Expats that has access to various agencies and their electronic documents.
If you owe tax liability and did not send a payment by April 15, be prepared to owe additional “Failure to Pay” fees.
What many US Taxpayers don’t realize until they’re assessed with punitive “Failure to Pay” fees and interest is that an authorization of a filing extension does not include authorization of a payment extension. If you have tax liability and didn’t make a payment on or before April 15, 2013, expect to be billed by the IRS.