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APRIL 2015



AFSA Hosts Virginia Congressman for

Town Hall Meeting

On Feb. 9, AFSA hosted a

town hall-style meeting

with Representative Gerald

Connolly (D-Va.), a member

of the House Committee on

Foreign Affairs and the House

Committee on Oversight and

Government Reform.

Rep. Connolly, whose

Northern Virginia district has

one of the highest concentra-

tions of Foreign Service fami-

lies in the United States, has

extensive connections to the

Foreign Service. He even par-

ticipated in the drafting of the

Foreign Service Act of 1980

when he was a congressional

staffer. He takes a particular

interest in the future of inter-

national development and

transparency and account-

ability in foreign aid.

The event was held in a

question-answer format,

with AFSA Communications

Director Kristen Fernekes

moderating the conversation.

AFSAmembers were invited

to submit questions by email

if they were unable to attend

the event in person.

Several asked questions

about benefits. Rep. Connolly

noted that he supports parity

in benefits between the mili-

tary and the Foreign Service

and has voted this way in the

past. He also said he favors

the full implementation of

Overseas Comparability Pay.

Responding to a ques-

tion about the decline in the

amount of travel members

of Congress are doing and

the decade-long pullback in

the number of congressional

delegations, Rep. Connolly

said he believed members of

Congress should take every

possible opportunity to bet-

ter understand the foreign

countries about which they

are making policy.

Along the same lines, he

urged Foreign Service mem-

bers to take full advantage of

codels and use them as an

opportunity to make a positive

impression on delegation

members who may not have

had previous interaction with

the Foreign Service.

Responding to a ques-

tion about how the Foreign

Service can engage with the

general public on its role, Rep.

Connolly suggested getting

involved in civic organiza-

tions, such as Rotary Clubs,

Chambers of Commerce and

schools. They can be key ven-

ues for public education.

Rep. Connolly agreed with

a member of the audience

who pointed out that interest

in trade promotion is lack-

ing in Congress. He stated

that delaying deals like the

Trans-Pacific Partnership is

dangerous. If TPP fails, other

countries will fill the void and

set international trade policy

for the future, diminishing U.S.

global influence.

To see a recording of the

event, go to video. n

—Debra Blome,

Associate Editor


Representative Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) at AFSA.

The following clarifies

the tax guide entry for

the federal extension.

Extension for Tax-

payers Abroad

Taxpayers whose

tax home is outside the

U.S. on April 15 are entitled to an automatic extension until

June 15 to file their returns. When filing the return, these tax-

payers should write “Taxpayer Abroad” at the top of the first

page and attach a statement of explanation. There are no late

filing or late payment penalties for returns filed and taxes paid

by June 15, but the IRS does charge interest on any amount

owed from April 15 until the date it receivespayment.

This extension applies to federal returns. Please check

with your home state for the regulations on extensions for

state tax filings.


2014 AFSATax Guide: Clarification