Still Haven’t Received Required US Tax Paperwork?
IJ Zemelman Jun-04-2013
As a US Expat, you have an automatic tax filing extension to June 15
Were you unable to file your tax return on time because you were waiting on W-2 documents that never arrived from your employer(s)? Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t accept this as an excuse to be late on your US expat tax return. The good news, however, is that – as a US Expat – you have an automatic filing extension until June 15. You may also file another extension on Form 4868 so that your tax return isn’t due until October. Remember to also file an extension on your state income tax return if you owe taxes for your home based in the United States. Remember, though, an extension to file is not an extension to pay. If you feel you may owe taxes for 2014, you should file Form 1040-ES with an estimate of the taxes you owe and send a payment along with your estimated tax return.
If you still haven’t received your tax documents from one or more employers, the IRS can help!
Sometimes, employers fail to get Form W-2 out in time for tax season. You may have been in contact with your current or former employer and have been unsuccessful in getting this required tax form. If this is the case, you can call the IRS at toll-free 800-829-1040. Once you get in touch with the IRS and let them know that your employer still hasn’t furnished your W-2, the IRS will send out a letter requesting one on your behalf. When you call the IRS, you will need to have some basic information about your employer and your income. You will need to provide the IRS with:
- The name of your employer,
- Your employer’s address,
- You employer’s phone number,
- The dates you were employed,
- An estimate of the wages you received from your employer in 2014, and
- An estimate of how much was held for federal taxes.
After you call the IRS, a representative will call your employer. An IRS representative will also send out a Form 4852 to you. Form 4852 is a substitute W-2.
You will need other US tax forms to accurately complete your US expat tax return.
There are other tax forms you should have received by now. These include your mortgage interest statement and 1099s (if applicable). If you haven’t received these forms from your bank, check online at your bank’s website to see if they are available online. Most mortgage lenders and banks make all these forms available on the Internet, so it should be fairly easy for you to retrieve these documents.
Don’t allow missing tax forms to result in late penalties!
The penalties for filing a US expat tax return late can be high. As mentioned earlier, the IRS does not consider a lack of tax documents to be a valid excuse for filing a late return. There are ways of getting the information you need – even if your employer isn’t being cooperative. Make sure to get in touch with the IRS if this is the case. Getting a notice from the IRS is generally a good motivator to companies to take some action.
I.J. Zemelman, EA is the founder of Taxes for Expats