For all American expats and holders of Green Cards (Permanent Resident Cards), it is important to take note that the IRS will start to accept returns on January 23. (Returns that are normally due on April 15, this year will have a deadline of April 18 due to the 15th falling on a Saturday and Monday the 17th being a legal holiday in the District of Columbia).
Though the IRS provides an automatic 2-month filing extension for U.S. expats, this does not apply to the payment of taxes due. Interest will start to accrue on any tax due following the April 18 deadline. This makes it all the more wise to get started earlier rather than later just in case there might be unanticipated issues or complications with your tax situation. There is also the added convenience of not dealing with the usual busy season crush of other filers.
The author is managing partner and tax practice manager for Capital Tax in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Vancouver. He is a U.S. and Japan and international tax specialist with more than 15 years of experience in the area of cross-border structuring and taxation.© Japan Today