Living as an American expat brings a wealth of cultural experiences and opportunities. However, it also comes with the responsibility of keeping abreast of your tax obligations back home. It's essential to stay informed about the US tax deadlines for expats to avoid penalties and ensure compliance with the IRS.
Understanding the US Expat Tax Deadline
The deadline for US expats to file their 2023 tax returns is June 17, 2024,. This date includes an automatic two-month extension granted to US citizens living abroad, beyond the standard April 15 deadline that applies to stateside taxpayers. However, it's crucial to note that while the filing deadline is extended, any taxes owed are still due by April 15 to avoid interest charges.
Expert Insight: File for an extension by June 17th 2024 if you need more time which will extend your filing date to October 15, 2024.
FBAR Filing in 2024
The initial deadline to file your FBAR is April 15, 2024. However, if this date slips by, there's an automatic extension granted until October 15, 2024. It's important to note that this extension is applied automatically; there's no need to request it.
Expert Insight: It's not just the highest balance of the year that matters. If the total sum of your foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time, even momentarily, you must file an FBAR.
When Are Estimated Taxes Due in 2024?
Expatriates who expect to owe $1,000 or more (after withholdings) for 2024 should make quarterly estimated tax payments towards their expected 2024 tax lability. The dates to remember for 2024 are April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15, 2025.
Expert Insight: Set calendar reminders and consider setting aside funds monthly to avoid the scramble to gather funds when estimated taxes are due.
Deadlines for Various Types of Business Entities
Sole Proprietorships and Single-Member LLCs
For sole proprietors and single-member LLCs, the tax filing deadline is typically aligned with the personal tax return deadline. As an expat, this means your Schedule C, which reports business income and expenses, should be filed by June 17, 2024. However, if you have obtained an extension, the deadline can be pushed to October 15, 2024.
Partnerships, Multi-Member LLCs and S-Corporations (Including K-1's)
The deadline for these entities to file their tax returns and issue their K-1's to their partners/shareholders is the 15th day of the third month after the end of their fiscal year. For calendar year entities, this would be March 15, 2024. However, a six-month extension can be requested, moving the deadline to September 15, 2024.
C-Corporations have a deadline that falls on the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the corporation's fiscal year. For C-Corporations on a calendar year, the deadline would be April 15, 2024. An extension can provide an additional six months to file, moving the deadline to October 15, 2024.
Retirement Contributions Deadlines
For most expatriates, the deadline for making contributions to IRAs and Roth IRAs aligns with the tax filing deadline, June 17, 2024. However, if you've filed for an extension, you may have until October 15, 2024.
Consequences of Missing the Tax Filing Deadline
The repercussions of not meeting the tax deadline can be more than just a mere inconvenience; they can have a tangible impact on your finances. The IRS imposes penalties for both failing to file and failing to pay on time. Here's what could happen if you miss the filing deadline:
Late Filing Penalties
If you miss the June 15 deadline without having filed for an extension, the IRS can penalize you with a charge of 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. This penalty starts accruing the day after the tax filing due date and can build up to as much as 25% of your unpaid taxes.
Late Payment Penalties
Should you file on time but fail to pay the taxes you owe, you'll face a late payment penalty. The penalty is generally 0.5% of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date. Like the late filing penalty, this can accumulate to 25% of your unpaid taxes.
Interest on Unpaid Taxes
In addition to penalties, interest accrues on any unpaid tax from the due date of the return until the date of payment in full. The interest rate is determined quarterly and is the federal short-term rate plus 3%.
Expert Insight: Even if you can't pay your entire tax bill, file your return or an extension and pay as much as you can to reduce the interest and penalties.
Final Thoughts on the Expat Tax Deadline
The June 17, 2024, deadline offers US expats the necessary breathing room to comply with their tax filing obligations. However, the key to a smooth tax filing experience lies in early preparation and making timely payments. By doing so, you can avoid the stress of last-minute filings, minimize the risk of penalties, and ensure your financial peace of mind while living abroad.
Need Help With Your US Expats Taxes?
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Article by Lewis Grunfeld, CPA
Lewis Grunfeld, CPA, is a renowned expert in international and U.S. expat taxation, with expertise spanning over ten years. He has successfully helped thousands of expats around the world navigate complex international U.S. tax regulations, and achieve significant tax savings. His work is driven by a strongly rooted passion for assisting the expat community through a wide range of tax situations, ensuring tailored solutions for each unique situation.