Weekly Q&A

Can I extend filing of my US 1040 return beyond October 15? And how about form 3520?

US citizens living outside the US (i.e. abroad) have an automatic 2-month extension of time to file the individual income tax return from April 15th to June 15th.   If a further extension is needed, Form 4868 must be filed on or before June 15th, to receive an automatic extension of time to file their US individual income tax return to October 15th.

Still not enough time to properly file your US individual tax return and related schedules? Treasury Regulation 1.6081-1(a) authorizes the Commissioner to grant an extension to US citizens abroad to December 15th.  A letter explaining why an additional 2-month extension is required must be sent to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) on or before October 15th.

The authorization to grant an addition 2-month extension of time to file to December 15th applies to any return, declaration, statement or other document which relates to any tax imposed by subtitle A or F of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”).  For example, Form 3520 “Annual Return to Report Transactions with Foreign Trusts and Receipt of Certain Foreign Gifts” may also be extended to December 15th as the return filing obligation is imposed by subtitle A, subchapter J of the IRC.  When writing the letter be sure to include the tax return, information return, statement or other document, including the tax year for which the extension is requested.  You must also include a reason for needing additional time to file the required tax and information returns.

The above refers to the extension of time to file a return, and not the extension of time to pay.  All tax payments must be made by April 15th to avoid interest and late payment penalty charges.

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