Did You Miss the Tax Deadline? 3 Steps You Can Take Next

Tax Planning Young man walking with his bike in Barcelona

The tax deadline has come to pass, unless of course you filed a tax extension.  If you missed the tax deadline and didn’t file your taxes or an extension there are some things you can still do.

Here are 3 steps you can take if you missed the tax deadline.

File as Soon as You Can

If you owe money you want to file as soon as you can to avoid the failure-to-file penalty and a failure-to-pay penalty.  Although you may have a penalty for filing late, your penalty will be smaller than if you don’t file at all.  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 also received copies of your tax forms like 1099-Misc or W-2 forms, which reflect your income earned for the year.  You want to file as soon as possible so they don’t show that you owe a bigger tax liability since they don’t know all of the tax deductions and credits you qualify for.  TurboTax will check and see if you’re eligible for over 350 tax deductions and credits.

You may also have a tax refund waiting.  While you won’t receive a tax penalty if you have a refund coming, every year the IRS reports close to $1 billion dollars in unclaimed tax refunds because people don’t think they made enough money to file their taxes.  Even if you made under the IRS income threshold for filing ($10,400 single, $20,800 married filing jointly for 2017), you should file if you had federal taxes withheld from your wages or you are eligible for tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit.  If you do not file your taxes and you are entitled to a tax refund, you have to claim your tax refund within three years of the tax return due date.

You also need to file if you received an advanced premium tax credit to help you pay for health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Use E-file

Even though you waited to file your taxes you can still go online and e-file your taxes conveniently from the comfort of your own home.  TurboTax is available for e-file until October 15 when the IRS closes e-file for tax year 2017.  If you mail in your tax return, it will take the IRS longer to get and process your tax return.

Why pay interest on days when your return is in the mail? E-file allows your tax return to be received and processed by the IRS faster than the mail.

Make Payment Arrangements

Some taxpayers put off filing their taxes, because they owe money and they don’t know how they are going to pay.  If you put off filing for this reason there are things you can do that will be better and less costly for you.  You should still file your taxes, pay what you can, and then set up an installment agreement with the IRS through the IRS Fresh Start Initiative.  If you qualify you may be able to pay off your tax liability over six years and if your total tax liability is less than $50,000, you may be able to apply for an installment plan online.





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