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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 13143
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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Hello. My question concerns international tax. I am New Zealand

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Hello. My question concerns international tax. I am New Zealand born, but have US citizenship and I returned to live in New Zealand 3 years ago after living in the US for over 20 years. I understand that as a US citizen I must put in a US tax return every year. This year all of my income was earned in New Zealand; although I have retirement accounts in the US, I didn't owe any taxes, nor pay any, as I had no US income. Nevertheless, I must declare world wide income. I was later than I should have been in getting this information to tax office in New York this year. (I emailed my NZ info about 4/12/13 to the tax office). I have phoned the office but they don't seem to be actioning my tax return. I asked them to file for an extension but was told that if I don't owe, then I don't need to do that. Sothe net result is I haven't filed a tax return and no extension has been applied for, and I am not getting any response from the tax office. Please can you advise me what are the ramifications of this and if you have any thoughts as to how I should proceed. Many thanks. Bernadette.

Robin D :

Hello and thank you for using Just Answer,
If you did not file a return or an extension and you are outside the US living you are still not late.
You are allowed an automatic 2-month extension to file your return and pay federal income tax if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, and on the regular due date of your return:

  • You are living outside the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or

  • You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico.


If you use a calendar year, the regular due date of your return is April 15. Even if you are allowed an extension, you will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of your return.

Robin D :

To use this automatic 2-month extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two situations listed earlier qualified you for the extension. One would think that the IRS would know if they are receiving the Form 2555 or there is a foreign address but they request the statement.

Robin D :

The person that told you there is no problem as long as you are not oweing tax was correct in the fact that penalties are assessed on the Balance Due amount, so no Balance Due means no penalty.

Robin D :

I hope this explains your true situation but please let me know.

Robin D :


Robin D :

Please respond so I know you can view the above answer, thanks.



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