Special Extension To Qualify For The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion You Need To Know

Special Extension To Qualify For The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Special Extension To Qualify For The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion – Extension Of Time To Meet The Physical Presence Or Bona Fide Residence Test

For most taxpayers, you generally cannot get an extension of more than six months that is not subject to the discretion of the IRS. However, if you are outside of the United States and meet certain requirements, you may be able to get a special extension to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion test.

You can get an extension of more than six months to file your tax return if you need the time to meet either the bona fide residence test or physical presence test. A request for this type of extension can be made if all three of the following tests are met:

  1. You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
  2. You expect to meet either the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test, but not until after your tax return is due.
  3. Your tax home is in a foreign country (or countries) throughout your period of bona fide residence or physical presence, whichever applies.

The extension must be requested prior to the due date of your return. If both your tax home and your abode are outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico on the regular due date of your return (April 15), the due date for filing your return is June 15.

If you are granted an extension, it generally will be for up to 30 days beyond the date on which you can reasonably expect to qualify for the exclusion under the bona fide residence test or the physical presence test.

A common question that we are asked is “what will happen if I don’t end up meeting the bona fide residence or physical presence test”. If unforeseen events occur that make it impossible for you to qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion, you must pay interest on any tax due from the regular due date (April 15) until the tax is paid in full.

As a client of Tax Samaritan, we can prepare the required extension request and submit to the IRS.

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Tax Samaritan is a team of Enrolled Agents with over 25 years of experience focusing on US tax preparation and representation. We maintain this tax blog where all articles are written by Enrolled Agents. Our main objective is to educate US taxpayers on their tax responsibilities and the selection of a tax professional. Our articles are also designed to help taxpayers looking to self prepare, providing specific tips and pitfalls to avoid.

When looking for a tax professional, choose carefully. We recommend that you generally want to hire an Enrolled Agent, such as Tax Samaritan or other professional licensed to practice before the IRS, such as a CPA or attorney. If you are a US taxpayer overseas, we further recommend that you seek a professional who is experienced in expat tax preparation (most tax professionals have limited to no experience with expat taxes).

Randall Brody is an enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.

All About Randall Brody
Randall is the Founder of Tax Samaritan, a boutique firm specializing in the preparation of taxes and the resolution of tax problems for Americans living abroad, as well as the other unique tax issues that apply to taxpayers. Here, they help taxpayers save money on their tax returns.

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