Written on behalf of Feigenbaum Consulting
If you are an American citizen or green card holder living and working in Canada, did you remember to file your US tax returns? Every American person needs to file a return on their worldwide income, even if they haven’t lived in the United States for years.
If you didn’t file a return, or perhaps missed the April 18 US tax filing deadline, don’t panic: you may qualify for an automatic two month extended deadline on your United States returns. You may also be able to apply for a further four month extension.
Automatic two month extension of time to file
If you were living outside of the United States on April 18, 2017, this year’s tax deadline, you qualify for an automatic two month extension to your US tax filing deadline, provided that:
- You were living outside the United States and Puerto Rico; and
- Your main place of business was outside the United States and Puerto Rico.
You do not need to file any additional forms to make use of the extension, however you must attached a statement to your return outlining the situation that qualifies you for an extended tax filing deadline.
If you are married, and file a tax return jointly, the extension applies if one spouse meets the conditions. If you file separately, however, the extension only applies to the non-resident spouse.
US income tax remains due in April, so although you do not need to pay your taxes until June 15, if you do happen to owe anything, interest will be charged from April 18, 2017.
Further four month extension of your US tax filing deadline
If you are unable to complete your taxes by June, it is generally possible to obtain a further four month extension by filing Form 4868. The form simply outlines your estimated tax liability, and you will only be contacted by the IRS if your request is denied.
Form 4868 must be filed by the two month extended US tax filing deadline on June 15, 2017. Unlike the two month extension, this does not extend your time to pay. You may be charged penalties for any amounts owing after June 15, unless you can provide a reasonable explanation.
In some cases you may not be able to obtain this additional extension: if you are under court order to file by a certain time, you must meet that deadline. You are also excluded if you want the IRS to figure your tax.
US tax filing expertise from Toronto’s specialty cross-border tax firm
The Toronto cross-border lawyers and accountants at Feigenbaum Tax Law specialize in tax planning for US individuals living in Canada, and American companies that have Canadian employees or operations. We can provide timely, straightforward advice about your obligations, and offer tailored solutions to meet your exact needs.
To make an appointment, contact us online, or call our Toronto office toll free at (877) 275-4792.