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Bug #40023 closed:corrected

Better Late Than Never

This bug appeared in a news report published by The Japan Times on Jan 28, 2015. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Simple Factual Error

A Japan Times article aimed at, as its title suggests, "Making your U.S. tax filing from Japan that little bit less … taxing," states: 

"The statutory deadline for 2014 for those of us living overseas is June 15, 2015. Americans have it engraved in our minds that it should be April 15. However, for overseas filers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) grants an automatic two-month extension. Nothing has to be done — it is automatic. " 

According to page four of IRS Publication 54 (2014), "Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad," and contrary to what's stated in the article excerpt above, more than "nothing has to be done." Those IRS filing instructions say that you must attach a statement to your return explaining which of the two qualifying situations (noted in the publication) entitle you to take the automatic extension. The same instructions note that "the regular due date of your return is April 15," not June 15.

While April 15 has come and gone in Japan, I hope The Japan Times can set the record straight for anyone it may have led astray. When it comes to filing tax returns and correcting errors it’s always better to do it late than never. 



A later Japan Times article, "More tips for filing your U.S. taxes from Japan," notes a couple of errors in the original reporting for the piece spotlighted here. Although the article has been updated to correct those errors there is no specific note of the corrections made, as is standard practice at many reputable news outlets. Such a correction notice might prove valuable to readers who trusted the erroneous information initially presented and used it as a reference when filing their taxes, especially if they have to explain themselves to the taxman.



JT Cassidy has contacted The Japan Times and received the following response.

Better Something Than Nothing

While the paper didn't correct its original article, it did issue a clarification in a later piece ("Residence cards, U.S. taxation and pension posers," published May 10, 2015).

Bug History

Apr 15, 2015 7:54 pm Open JT Cassidy
May 12, 2015 8:54 am Closed: Corrected JT Cassidy

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