Filing an Extension for a Tax Return

Filing an Extension for a Tax Return

April 15 is the due date that most Americans are familiar with for filing their tax returns. However, did you know that US expats automatically receive a 2-month extension? If filing by June 15 is not possible, then filing an extension to October 15 can be achieved by completing Form 4868.

Filing an Extension for a Tax Return – The Best Way

The process of filing an extension is quite easy if one does not owe taxes. The simplest way to do it is on-line. There are several vendors that facilitate the process. In the past, we have recommended “Official Payments” ( Simply pay $1 toward filng the extension.

The process is a bit tricky if one actually owes taxes. One will have to estimate how much taxes are owed, and pay that amount while filing the extension. It is important to keep in mind that filing an extension does not exempt one from certain penalties and interest charges.

Also, US expats who need the filing extension to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion (for the first time) can file Form 2350, rather than Form 4868.


For general information on US expat taxation, please read: US Taxes for Americans Living Abroad – Ultimate Guide.