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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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1040 Abroad

IRS Encourages Electronic Filing Ahead of October Deadlines

With a month to go until the October 15 deadline the IRS is encouraging taxpayers to file online

Published on September 16, 2020

Taxes Board Photo: Karolina Grabowska

With just under a month to go until the October 15 extended tax deadline, which some overseas Americans may have signed an extension for, the IRS has issued a reminder encouraging taxpayers and tax professionals to use electronic filing methods.

Americans living overseas are generally able to automatically extend their filing deadline by 6 months until October 15. The IRS's reminder is aimed to notifying those who have extended their filing deadline that the October 15 deadline is approaching.

In the notice, the IRS highlight the advantages of electronic filing, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying: "Taxpayers and tax professionals should continue to use electronic options to support social distancing and speed the processing of tax returns, refunds and payments." An analysis of the IRS Data Book 2019 earlier this year found that most expats opt for paper filing. The analysis, conducted by US tax firm Bright!Tax, showed that only 34% of expats file their tax returns electronically, with 66% filing paper returns.

The IRS also recommends that taxpayers choose direct deposit for refunds, saying that the "safest and fastest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to have it electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account." The IRS also note that refunds can be deposited into one, two or even three accounts, and that "Direct deposit is much faster than waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail." Direct deposis could prove useful for overseas Americans who face hurdles when cashing US checks whilst outside of America.

To find a US Tax professional with expertise in assisting overseas Americans take a look at The American's A-List Directory

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