Overseas and Still Not Done Your Taxes? File Your Extension Now

Military members (and their families) who are stationed outside the United States are not required to file their tax returns until 15 June.  If you aren’t going to meet that deadline, be sure to file for an extension.

There are two main ways that you can file for an extension:  online, or through the mail.  Either way, you will need to use a Form 4868, Extension of Time to File.  If you want to submit it online, you will have to do it through an e-File provider.  I tried to use the free H&R Block program offered through Military One Source, but once I got into the program, I was unable to figure out how to file for an extension through H&R Block.  After a bit of research, I decided to file via TaxAct.

First, you create an account (just email and password, nothing too personal).  Then click on the filing tab, and it will look like this:

Click on the part that I (sloppily) circled:  File Extension.

At this point, you will have to put in some personally identifying information, like your social security number(s).  It took me about five minutes, including being interrupted by fractious children who weren’t behaving.  Be sure to read carefully because there are a few more steps than you might guess.  (There is some “confirming that you’ve confirmed, and a captcha to be entered.

Now, filing an extension to file does not mean that you get an extension to pay.  If you are going to owe taxes, you really were supposed to have paid them by the 18 April 2011 deadline.  If you find yourself in this position, you need to get on the ball and get these taxes paid so that you do not continue to accrue penalties and interest.

If you are overseas and can’t get those taxes submitted by next week, go ahead and file your extension now.  One less thing to worry about, and possibly forget!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.