There are numerous associations with the Fourth of July holiday… fireworks, cookouts, a day off from work, store sales. It may be hard to remember, but history textbooks, and Wikipedia, informs that our nation declared its independence from Great Britain by adopting the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This declaration came about during the American Revolutionary War in which American troops were engaged in armed conflict with Great Britain.
In remembrance of those soldiers who gave their all to gain our freedom, and in recognition of the soldiers who give their all today to protect those freedoms, ExpressExtension commemorates filing extensions for military personnel stationed abroad or in a combat zone.
During tax season, if you’re in the military and are located abroad or in a combat zone, you may qualify for certain automatic extensions that relate to the filing and paying of your federal taxes.
If you’re on duty, either with the military or naval services, and you’re stationed outside of the United States and Puerto Rico during the deadline of your income tax return, you automatically have a 2-month extension to June 15 in order to file your tax return. In addition, you can file a Form 4868, Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return, by June 15 for another 4-month extension to October 15; that gives you a total of six extra months to file. Be sure you select the “Out of the Country” option on the form.
Your 2-month extension or additional 4-month extension is only good the time you have to file your return. If you have any taxes that you owe to the IRS, then you must pay by the original April 15 deadline. If you’re unable to pay in full at the time, the IRS offers payment plans that you may be eligible for. The penalty for Failure-to-Pay is less severe than Failure-to-File, so file on time and pay little by little if you have to.
Let’s say that you’re serving in a contingency operation or a combat zone, or you’re hospitalized because of an injury in either situation, the IRS can extend your deadlines for filing tax returns, paying taxes, filing claims for refund, and any other tax-related actions by 180 days after you leave the zone or operation. You must notify the IRS directly of your request for combat zone relief extensions of deadlines through the following e-mail address: [email protected].
The IRS has the following resources in place to help you make accurate and informed decisions regarding your taxes:
- Tax Information for Members of the Military – Provides questions and answers on combat zone tax provisions
- Publication 3, Armed Forces’ Tax Guide – Includes instructions on how members can ‘self-identify’ to advise the IRS of their combat zone status
- Armed Forces Tax Council (AFTC) – Consists of the tax program coordinators from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide, and serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program – Trained, military-based VITA volunteers are able to address military-specific tax issues, such as filing deadlines when outside the United States, combat zone tax benefits, and the Earned Income Tax Credit guidelines.
- Taxpayer Advocate Services (TAS) – Assist taxpayers who are experiencing problems in their dealings with the IRS.
We, at ExpressExtension, salute and recognize our American troops from the past and present who continue to fight and protect our freedoms for future generations. We wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!
For assistance with e-filing our available personal tax extension, contact our live professionals located at Rock Hill, South Carolina at (803) 514-5155 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 6pm, EST), or email us at [email protected] or live chat with us at www.expressextension.com.