We can go ahead and prepare your return for you before the deadline by basing the numbers on the following:
The income you earned during the last calendar year.
The taxes you paid over the previous calendar year (regardless of whether it was the tax bill for the prior year or automatic withdrawals during the year).
We can do this because the IRS only cares about the actual income/tax paid during the tax year.
Then once we see what your actual situation is (vis-a-vis you owing tax or getting a refund), we will advise you on how to proceed. If necessary, we can wait for your local tax return to be prepared and incorporated before filing.
The following options are available to you (all dates assume the current year is 2022 and you are filing a 2021 tax return):
1. File a return now reporting tax paid during 2021 on income earned in 2020
Pro - You can file now.
Con - If your income has greatly increased from 2020 to 2021, the amount of tax paid on your income in 2020 may not be enough to generate sufficient foreign tax credit to fulfill current-year obligations.
2. Request an additional extension of time to file using a free-form letter (TFX can help)
Pro - Most accurate way to file.
Con - Unlike the first (automated) extension, the second request for an extension requires IRS approval. If approval is not granted, your tax return will be considered late.
3. File now using an estimate of the tax due for the year (you will report it as "tax assessed")
Pro - You will get the return out of the way now.
Con - You will be required to continue filing using the "tax assessed" method in future years and will not be allowed to return to the "tax paid" strategy.
4. Hold off on filing until you receive your refund information
(If you expect to receive a refund for the prior year AND you claimed a foreign tax credit for the previous year)
We will adjust the amount of the foreign tax credit carryover on the current year's tax return, and you will not have to worry about amending your prior year's return.