Help, I have to file my U.S. taxes, but I am not ready!

First, let us create some clarity about the IRS tax filing requirements:

  1. Tax payment due date is 18 April, i.e., you must have paid your (expected) tax dues by this date, irrespective if you are an expat or not.
  2. U.S. tax filing must be in by 15 June (for Americans not living in the U.S.)
Please note: You have to act before the 18th of April to meet the tax payment due date. If you are running out of time and are not ready to file your U.S. taxes before this date, you can file on a provisional basis, simply by using an estimate of your tax amount due. In addition, you will automatically get an extension for filing your taxes to 15 October.

You can do the following to meet the payment due date of 18 April:

  1. Look at your tax dues from last year. If your income situation has not substantially changed, pay the same amount as last year. If you paid in excess, you get it refunded shortly after you filed your U.S. taxes.
  2. If you have no clue, pay a minimum amount, since it will automatically give you an extension to file your U.S. taxes by 15 October.
  3. If you are no balance due, ask Blue Umbrella to file extension form 4868 for you (free if you file your U.S. taxes with Blue Umbrella, otherwise €50 (ex VAT).

How to pay?

  1. Visit this link to the IRS website:
  2. When you make your payment on the IRS website, select option 1040 extension

Missing a due date

If you miss the tax payment due date, the IRS may charge:
  1. Penalty for failing to pay: 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of the month the tax remains unpaid
  2. Penalty for failing to file: 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of the month the tax remains unpaid
  3. Penalty for filing over 60 days late: $435 or 100% of the tax required, whichever is less
  4. Interest on a penalty: the IRS charges interest on penalties (3% plus the Federal short-term rate)
Good to know, the IRS will also pay interest on tax overpayments.

Until when can I file my taxes with Blue Umbrella before the due date?

  1. Blue Umbrella needs at least 14 days to prepare your taxes. Blue Umbrella cannot guarantee to file your U.S. taxes in time if issued after 4 April.
  2. If you expect to miss the due date of 18 April, make an estimated payment to the IRS before 18 April. You automatically receive an extension until 15 October.