Each year I help over 500 clients file their Canadian and US tax returns as well as plan for both their Canadian and US investment accounts. I also regularly help new US clients plan for their move to Canada.
I’m a US citizen living in Canada that has yet to file his US tax return. I was told by a friend that I could have until December 15th, 2017 to file my return. However I can’t find any information online about this extension. Is this the case?
Yes, it is possible to further extend your US tax return to December 15th assuming you have already applied for an extension. To give you some context:
US Tax Return Deadline for American’s Abroad
As a US citizen living in Canada you would have been required to file an extension via form 4868 by June 15th of 2017 (you have an automatic extension from the April 15th filing deadline). This extension only extends the tax return to October 15th and you will want to ensure that you pay any taxes owing by this date in order to avoid penalties.
How Can I Extend my Tax Return to December 15th, 2017?
IRS regulation section Section 1.6081-1(b) outlines in detail how to make the December 15th extension. Unfortunately no prescribed form exists to file for this extension, rather tax payers are required to write directly to the IRS in order to apply for the extension. The extension request letter should include the following:
- Which tax return you are officially requesting an extension for, including any specific filing requests
- You need to also include the reason why you are requesting the additional extension to file
Once completed the extension request letter should be sent to the following address:
Department of the Treasury
Austin, Texas 73301-0045
It’s also good practice to include a copy of the extension letter that you sent earlier when the actual tax return gets filed. That way to can increase the likelihood the IRS will honour the extension request.
For some taxpayers it can be useful to have the ability to extend beyond the regular October 15th filing deadline. That being said, it’s always good practice to try and file your US tax return well before any final deadlines. Procrastinating about completing the return will only lead to accumulated stress and possible errors.
We file more of our client’s 1040 returns by the end of April and the vast majority of the remaining returns by June 15th to ensure clients can enjoy a summer without worrying about US tax issues.