It is said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes.

Still, considering current events, 2019 might as well be 1919 since it feels like that year occurred so long ago.

However, I think anxiety about paying annual taxes should be added to that list. Over 141 million tax returns were filed in 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused the forced unemployment of over 50 million Americans. Over a third of Americans missed their rent and mortgage obligations in July 2020. The CARES Act legislatively protected Americans from eviction for 3 to 4 months, but those protections are now lapsing. And while you can file taxes late, you can’t pay late without penalties.

I have been traveling abroad for some time, long before the coronavirus pandemic hit, working as a telecommuting writer. Living abroad exempts no one from paying taxes.

There may be many reasons why you need to file taxes late. Here is how you can do so.

Form 4686

If you know you are going to file taxes late and need an extension, file Form 4686 electronically by July 15, 2020.

Or, file your taxes electronically. If you mail your taxes and form 4686, just make sure it is postmarked by July 15, 2020.

In March 2020 the deadline for tax filings was extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. This was done to compensate for the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Once you file form 4686, your tax filing date will automatically be extended to October 15, 2020.

Just remember that getting an extension to file doesn’t exempt you from financial penalties for paying late.

You don’t have to explain why you need to file your taxes late either. Still, here are some reasons why you may need to file late.

Americans Living Abroad

If you live abroad, you are usually automatically allowed a 60-day extension to file.

If you are a resident alien living abroad, operate a business outside the country, or are active military, this applies to you too.

However, since everyone got an extension to July 15, this automatic 60-day extension does not apply. So, you need to file form 4686 like everyone else this year.

American taxpayers living abroad can file for another 60-day extension past October 15. All you have to do is write a letter to the I.R.S. explaining why you need postmarked by October 15.

Don’t Procrastinate on Taxes

The average tax refund is $2,760. So, it doesn’t pay to pay extra penalties.

Here is a list of I.R.S. penalties explaining failure to pay, failure to file, failure to pay estimated taxes, and more.

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