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June 15 is Tax Day, take two, for millions of filers

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Are you ready for Tax Day take two? It's June 15 and it's almost here.

That mid-June day is the annual deadline for millions of U.S. taxpayers who are living outside the country. That includes members of the armed forces stationed abroad.

It's also the due date for the current year's second estimated tax payment.

And this year, even more taxpayers will participate. June 15, 2021, is the first Tax Day for millions who literally endured disastrous situations earlier this year.

Here's the scoop for all these folks now facing impending June tax obligations.

U.S. taxpayers living abroad: Every year, April is of no consequence when it comes to annual return filings for American citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the United States and Puerto Rico. The deadline for expatriates to file their federal tax returns is June 15.

The new filing day is automatic and also applies to members of the military stationed outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico and who don't qualify for the longer combat zone extension.

Even if you're able to exclude most or all of your foreign-earned income thanks to the Internal Revenue Code exclusion amount (adjusted annually for inflation), you still need to file your U.S. Form 1040. That's where you'll claim your Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or the Foreign Tax Credit, which substantially reduce or eliminate U.S. tax liability. These tax benefits are only available if an eligible taxpayer files a U.S. income tax return.

Note, however, that if you didn't pay any tax due by the regular filing deadline, which this year was pushed by COVID-19 considerations to May 17, you could owe a bit more.

The June 15 extended filing deadline for taxpayers living abroad does not do away with late-payment interest charges. The IRS says the added interest amount should be included in any payment you make when you submit your return this month.

If you find you just can't make the June due date, then extra time is available for expatriate filers, too. Just like individual taxpayers within U.S. borders, you can get until Oct. 15 to submit your taxes by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

However, this now must be done by hand. The IRS stopped processing electronic extension requests once this year's May 17 regular filing deadline passed, meaning you'll have to snail mail the extension form.

You can find more information about the special tax rules, including deadlines, for U.S. taxpayers abroad in IRS Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. You can find more ab0ut the tax treatment of members of the military in IRS Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide.

Estimated taxpayers: The four extra tax payments known as estimated taxes are a pain in the ass. They also are becoming more common, as millions of folks in recent years, and especially in 2020 due to workforce changes created by the coronavirus pandemic, have shifted to gig work.

If you've regularly been getting taxable income that's not subject to withholding, such as the aforementioned side hustles, other self-employment earnings, prize or gambling winnings, or investment payouts, then you are familiar with estimated tax payments.

But here's a quick refresher for you and new lesson for those just now dealing with estimated tax payments. The method the IRS prefers you use is to determine as accurately as you can the annual amount of income subject to estimated tax and then divide that by four.

You'll make these equal payments quarterly, even though they don't follow the usually calendar quarters, but rather the IRS' own payment schedule shown below.

Payment #

Due Date

For income received  

1

April 15

Jan. 1 through March 31  

2

June 15

April 1 through May 31  

3

Sept. 15

June 1 through Aug. 31  

4

Jan. 15
of the next year

Sept. 1 through Dec. 31  

If the 15th that an estimated tax payment is due falls on a weekend or federal holiday, then it moves to the next business day.

You can make estimated tax payments electronically or write an old school paper check (or money order) and send it with Form 1040-ES to the IRS. Like return filings, U.S. Postal Service tax payments are considered made on time if the envelope is postmarked with the deadline date.

Dealing with disasters: Tax return filing (and other) deadlines also are changed at the discretion of the IRS when taxpayers are affected by major natural disasters.

That happened seven times this year in connection with the deadline to file 2020 tax year returns. Five of those due dates are in June. Three of them are on June 15.

Taxpayers facing a tax due date in just more than a week live in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. That's every filer each state's counties/parishes. Their federal, and in the case of Oklahoma and Louisiana residents, state tax paperwork and payments are due on June 15.

For your information, the other states where some residents have a later 2020 tax return filing deadline are:

  • Parts of Kentucky, where affected taxpayers have until June 30 to file and pay;
  • Parts of West Virginia, where June 30 also is the deadline for some of its residents to file and pay;
  • Parts of Tennessee, where affected filers have until Aug. 2 to file and pay federal taxes; and
  • Parts of Alabama, where Aug. 2 also is the deadline for some of its residents to file and pay federal taxes.

The delayed filing deadlines for all of the impacted taxpayers also give them time to make some additional disaster-related tax decisions. They might be able to claim this year's uninsured major storm losses on their 2020 returns. Or they can wait and claim them on their 2021 taxes they file next year.

You can find more on disaster tax claims in IRS Publication 547. The tax agency's special disaster relief web page also has details on other returns, payments and tax-related actions qualifying for the additional time.

And, shameless plug alert, the ol' blog's disaster tax tips, ranging from preparation steps to recovery options to how to help those in need, are collected on special Storm Warnings pages.

If any of these special situations mean that you didn't have to deal with your taxes on May 17, but are facing a June 15 deadline, now is the time to start working on those returns. Your further delayed Tax Day is bearing down.

You also might find these items of interest:

 

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