It happens to the best of us. You might have been busy, or unsure of how to file certain forms.
Maybe you owe so much that you don’t think you will be able to pay your tax amount all at once, so you waited to file.
There are a million reasons why taxpayers miss the tax deadline so if you’re one of them, don’t beat yourself up about it.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that doesn’t go away on its own unless you file.
Before it gets any later, you need to consider your options — and fix the situation.
File as Quickly as You Can
The most important thing you can do is to file as soon as you can in order to avoid a pile up interest charges and penalties.
Realize that there is a rather hefty fine for failure to file — especially if you owe money.
You will have to pay a tax penalty for filing late, but it’s smaller than the tax penalty for failing to file at all.
Additionally, if you can demonstrate a good reason for paying late, the IRS might waive your late filing fee. (If you are owed a tax refund, there is no fee for filing late; you’ll want to file ASAP in order to get your refund faster.)
Filing as soon as you can will also reduce what you owe in interest. The longer you wait to file, the bigger the interest penalty.
The IRS will charge you for every single day you failed to pay and it’s not cheap to essentially borrow money from the government.
In order to accurately file quickly and easily, use E-file. If you’re already late, you don’t want to be even later — and you probably want to be able to access your information fairly quickly.
E-file can help you accomplish that task. You can use TurboTax to e-file until October 15.
If you mail in your tax return, it will take the IRS longer to get and process your return.
Why pay interest on days when the return is in the mail? E-filing avoids this and gets your tax return processed faster as a bonus.
Set Up a Payment Plan
One of the most common reasons why many people delay filing is because they owe taxes. We are conditioned to put things off if we are unable to pay but there are better options.
If this is why you haven’t filed, reconsider your approach. Late filing (and especially failure to file altogether) only compounds the problem. Pay as much of your tax bill as you can, and then set up a payment plan.
The IRS offers installment plans that allow you to make more manageable payments.
As long as your total tax, interest, and penalties amount to less than $50,000, you can apply for an installment plan online.
The interest charged for the IRS installment plan is usually very competitive, and may be less than what you will pay if you put your taxes on a credit card or use a payday loan.
The IRS expects you to file a tax return — especially if you owe money. If you want your tax refund, you need to file.
Even if you’re not required to file your taxes, you may be missing out on a tax refund by not filing if you had federal taxes withheld from your wages or you qualify for certain tax credits.