Tax DeadlineFederal Individual Income Tax Return Filing

Generally, U.S. income tax residents must file their 2014 federal income tax returns by April 15, 2015. However, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident living and working outside the United States, or you are in active military service on duty outside the United States, you are allowed an automatic two-month extension to June 15 to file your return and pay your federal income taxes. If you are married and are filing jointly with your spouse, the automatic extension applies to both of you.

If you are filing a Form 1040NR, “U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return,” and did not receive wages as an employee subject to U.S. income tax withholding, you are also given until June 15th to file your federal return.  Please note that not all states follow the federal rule and allow an automatic two-month extension, so you may still need to file an extension for your state return, if you plan to file your state return after April 15.

If you are not able to file your federal individual income tax return by the applicable due date, you may request an automatic six-month extension of time to file. To get this extension, you must file a Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” by the due date for filing your tax return. Filing Form 4868 extends the due date of your federal income tax return to October 15th regardless of whether your original due date was April 15 or June 15. Individuals who are filing a Form 1040NR are also eligible for an extension of time to file their return until October 15, 2015. Separate state income tax return extensions may also need to be filed.

It is important to note that Form 4868 extends your deadline for filing your federal return, but it does not extend the due date for paying any taxes owed; if you owe taxes, the IRS requires that you still pay in full by the original due date of your return. Any underpayment of tax will be subject to penalties and interest which accumulate each month that your taxes go unpaid.

Foreign Bank Account Reporting

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident and have a financial interest in or signature authority over foreign financial accounts, including bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, trusts, or other types of foreign financial accounts, which, in aggregate, are worth more than $10,000 on any day during the calendar year, you may be required to report the accounts annually to the Department of Treasury by electronically filing a FinCEN Report 114, “Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts” (FBAR) (formerly Form TD F 90-22.1).

You may have an FBAR reporting obligation even when your accounts produce no taxable income. The FBAR is a calendar year report, and the due date for the 2014 FBAR is June 30, 2015. There is no extension of time to file an FBAR. When you are granted a filing extension for your income tax returns, you do not extend the time to file an FBAR. Those who are required to file an FBAR but who fail to file a correct and timely FBAR may be subject to severe civil and criminal penalties. Please seek professional advice if you need FBAR assistance for prior years.

This articles in this newsletter is not intended as legal or tax advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified tax professional.