U.S. Citizens residing abroad are still obligated to file taxes with the U.S. government every tax year. Guidance for this process and additional resources can be found under Federal Benefits and Obligations. Tax season ends on April 18, 2022 and the U.S. Embassy in Praia reminds U.S. citizens and green card holders living abroad to follow the same rules for paying taxes as if they were residing in the United States. U.S. taxpayers are subject to tax on worldwide income from all sources and must report all taxable income and pay taxes according to the Internal Revenue Code.
Taxpayers residing abroad are permitted an automatic two-month extension – until June 15 – to file their tax return.
The IRS urges everyone to file their return electronically this year, and if they have a U.S. bank account, choose direct deposit for any refund. Taxpayers can electronically file or mail their U.S. tax return by following directions included here. Many Americans living abroad qualify for special tax benefits, such as the foreign earned income exclusion and foreign tax credit, but they can only get them by filing a U.S. return. For further details, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, available on IRS.gov. U.S. taxpayers who own foreign financial accounts must report those accounts to the U.S. Treasury Department, even if the accounts don’t generate any taxable income. Taxpayers should file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) electronically by April 18, 2022, using the BSA E-Filing System. More information about reporting foreign financial accounts can be found here. U.S. taxpayers must also report virtual currency transactions to the IRS on their tax returns; these transactions are taxable by law just like any other property transaction. More information can be found here.
Taxpayers found to be committing fraud may be subject to penalties including payment of taxes owed plus interest, fines and jail time.
Who Must File?
All U.S. citizens and resident aliens must file a U.S. individual income tax return, even if they permanently live outside the United States and may not owe any tax because of income exclusion or tax credit.
When is the Federal Tax Return Due?
In general tax filings must be received by April 15 each year. You may be entitled to an automatic extension or may be eligible to request an extension to your filing date. Please see the link above for more information.
Can I Mail My Return and Payment?
You can mail your tax return and payment using the postal service or approved private delivery services. A list of approved delivery services is available on IRS.gov. If you mail a return from outside the United States, the date of filing is the postmark date. However, if you mail a payment, separately or with your return, your payment is not considered received until the date of actual receipt.
Can I Electronically File My Return?
You can prepare and e-file your income tax return, in many cases for free. Participating software companies make their products available through the IRS. E-File options are listed on IRS.gov.