As the majority of Americans are scurrying to gather documentation and finalize their federal tax returns before the April 15 deadline, U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad can breathe a temporary sigh of relief. This is because while most of the income tax rules applicable to their situations are the same as for everyone else, they do enjoy an automatic 2-month extension to file returns and pay tax amounts due. Thus, the filing deadline for such individuals is stretched to June 15 of this year, affording a bit of additional leeway.

The Maryland tax lawyers at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg stand ready to help taxpayers who fall into this category determine what is required this year and every year thereafter, maintaining full compliance at all times.

Specifics of the automatic tax extension

Those who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad, or those serving military duty outside of the country can take advantage of the automatic 2-month tax filing extension. Those who are eligible for this additional time should understand that penalties for late payment of taxes due will be assessed from the June 15 deadline. But, even those who utilize the extension will be assessed interest on unpaid taxes beginning on the standard tax deadline of April 15.

Individuals who are entitled to the automatic 2-month extension but who still cannot file by June 15 can also file Form 4868 just as all other taxpayers, and receive an extension through October 15. Penalties for unpaid taxes for those utilizing this extension will be assessed from the June 15 deadline. Taxpayers utilizing both extensions will still owe interest on outstanding tax obligations dating back to the original April 15 deadline.

Taxpayers who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad should mail their federal tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service Center in Austin, TX. Estimated tax payments, along with Form 1040-ES should be sent to Charlotte, NC. Many individuals can take advantage of free electronic filing, provided their Adjusted Gross Income meets the specified threshold. It should also be noted that amounts reported on federal tax returns must be expressed in U.S. dollars.

Dangers of noncompliance

As is the case with all taxpayers, citizens and resident aliens living abroad need to remain aware of the potentially serious consequences of noncompliance with IRS rules and regulations. The agency is perhaps the most powerful collection agency in existence, with expansive tools and investigative techniques at its disposal for the recovery of outstanding taxes. Civil penalties, hefty fines and terms of imprisonment are among the most significant methods routinely utilized by IRS agents to collect amounts due. Liens and levies are used with regularity to bring recalcitrant taxpayers back into compliance with the law. For these reasons, it is wise for anyone with tax issues or concerns to enlist the assistance of skilled tax attorneys with vast experience negotiating with the IRS and achieving positive client outcomes.

How Maryland tax attorneys can help

American citizens and resident aliens living abroad often feel uncertain about the process of achieving full compliance with federal tax law, as their personal situations are frequently more complex than that of the average taxpayer. Because of their experiences and connections abroad, they may have assets located in foreign bank accounts which trigger additional reporting requirements under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA). At Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, we are adept at untangling confusing tax scenarios and providing clients with valuable help in making necessary disclosures.

We can also help such individuals take advantage of IRS initiatives including the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program and Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures as a means to regain good standing in the aftermath of potentially inadvertent lapses in reporting.

The tax attorneys of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg have built a strong reputation as staunch advocates for the rights of taxpayers, and we look forward to providing you with the insights and guidance you need to achieve full tax compliance. To schedule an initial consultation, contact Brian Crepeau at