With 2021 tax season starting this week, Bright!Tax has created a tax calendar for American expats filing US taxes from abroad this year.
All Americans are required to file US taxes, including those living abroad, if their global income exceeds IRS minimums. IRS minimums start at $5 for Americans married filing separately to a foreign spouse, or $400 of self-employment income, or $12,400 of any income in 2020. This is true even if they file foreign taxes in another country, or if there’s a tax treaty between the US and their country of residents.
When Americans file, they can claim provisions such as the IRS Foreign Tax Credit and the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to reduce their US tax bill and avoid double taxation, but they still have to file.
Americans living abroad also often have to report an foreign bank accounts and investments they may have, as well as their foreign registered business interests.
While the majority of Americans living abroad will just need to bear three main dates in mind in 2021, depending on their situation, a number of other dates can come into play.
The three main expat tax filing deadlines in 2021 are:
Americans abroad don’t have to file by April 15, but if they owe any US tax it still needs to be paid by this date. In 2021, this date was moved to May 15.
June 15 is Tax Day for Americans living outside the US.
Expats who aren’t ready to file by June 15 can apply for an additional extension until October 15 by filing Form 4868.
The 2021 Expat US Tax Calendar
The 2021 US expat tax calendar below shows all relevant dates for Americans filing US taxes from overseas this year.
Filing US taxes from abroad is typically more complex than filing in the US, so if you have any questions about your US tax situation, get in touch with a US expat tax specialist.
Americans who have missed previous years’ filing can often catch up without facing penalties if they act before the IRS contacts them under an amnesty program such as the Streamlined Procedure, depending on their circumstances.