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September 15, 2011

Expatriates Living Abroad Can Request An Additional Extension of time to December 15th.

If you are an expat living abroad  on  4/15,  you receive an automatic extension of time until June  15th to file your income tax return return with the IRS.

If you cannot file your return within the automatic 2-month extension period, you generally can get an additional 4 months (using form 4868) to file your return, for a total of 6 months. The 2-month period and the 6-month period start at the same time. You have to request the additional 4 months by the new due date allowed by the 2-month extension.

  The additional 4 months of time to file (unlike the original 2-month extension) is not an extension of time to pay. You must make an accurate estimate of your tax based on the information available to you. If you find you cannot pay the full amount due with Form 4868, you can still get the extension. You will owe interest on the unpaid amount from the original due date of the return.

  You also may be charged a penalty for paying the tax late unless you have reasonable cause for not paying your tax when due. Penalties for paying the tax late are assessed from the original due date of your return, unless you qualify for the automatic 2-month extension. In that situation, penalties for paying late are assessed from the extended due date of the payment (June 15 for calendar year taxpayers).

Additional extension of time for taxpayers out of the country.   In addition to the 6-month extension, taxpayers who are out of the country can request a discretionary 2-month additional extension of time to file their returns (to December 15 for calendar year taxpayers).

  To request this extension, you must send the Internal Revenue Service a letter explaining the reasons why you need the additional 2 months. Send the letter by the extended due date (October 15 for calendar year taxpayers) to the following address:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215

You will not receive any notification from the Internal Revenue Service unless your request is denied.

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