The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided the following guidance for U.S. citizens abroad preparing for the 2015 tax filing season. This IRS guidance is posted under Federal Benefits and Obligations on www.travel.state.gov.
Who Must File?
All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual income tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit.
When is the 2015 Federal Tax Return Due?
Due date for Form 1040: April 15, 2016.
- An automatic extension to June 15, 2016, is granted for taxpayers living outside the United States and Puerto Rico. No form is required; write “Taxpayer Resident Abroad” at the top of your tax return.
- Caution: This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment. If you owe any taxes, you’re required to pay by April 15, 2016. Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment is made after this date.
- To request an additional extension to October 15, 2016, use Form 4868.
- Caution: This extension applies only for filing your tax return, not for payment. If you owe any taxes, you’re required to pay by April 15, 2016. Interest and penalties will generally be applied if payment make after this date.
- Other extensions may be available on IRS.gov.
Can I Mail My Return and Payment?
You can mail your tax return and payment using the postal service or approved private delivery services. A list of approved delivery services is available on IRS.gov. If you mail a return from outside the United States, the date of filing is the postmark date. However, if you mail a payment, separately or with your return, your payment is not considered received until the date of actual receipt.
Can I Electronically File My Return?
You can prepare and e-file your income tax return, in many cases for free. Participating software companies make their products available through the IRS. E-File options are listed on IRS.gov.
What should I do with the unsolicited or suspicious-looking email or fax that purports to come from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service(i.e. "IRS W-8 BEN" or similar)?
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through e-mail. In addition, the IRS does not request detailed personal information through e-mail or ask taxpayers for the PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank or other financial accounts.
Do not open any attachments to questionable e-mails, which may contain malicious code that will infect your computer. Please be advised that the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via e-mails.
If you receive an email or are directed to a website purporting to be from the IRS, you can forward it to the IRS at: firstname.lastname@example.org