The tax year 2018 extended tax deadline was October 15th, and while some of you may have scrambled to make the tax deadline, a few of you may have missed it and are wondering what to do. Don’t worry, if you missed the extended tax deadline, read up on these 5 important questions to help you figure out what to do next.
I missed the tax deadline. Should I still file?
Yes, you should still file your taxes as soon as possible. Even if your income was under the IRS filing requirement ($12,000 single and $24,000 married filing jointly for 2018), you should still file your taxes if you had federal taxes taken out or are eligible for a refundable tax credit like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Every year the IRS reports that they have close to $1 billion in unclaimed refunds.
How should I file my taxes?
IRS e-file is now closed, but you can still file your taxes by printing and mailing in your tax return.
Will the IRS charge penalties for not filing by October 15th?
If you have a tax refund coming, there is no penalty for filing late. Penalties are calculated based on amounts due.
If I owe money, will I be charged penalties and interest?
Unfortunately, you may receive three separate penalties on balances due on late tax returns as follows:
- Failure-to-file penalty
- Failure-to-pay penalty
The failure-to-file penalty can be the steepest as it starts out at 5% for each month the tax return is not filed and can go up to a total penalty of 25% of your balance due. If both the 5% failure-to-file penalty and the 0.5% failure-to-pay penalty apply in the same month, the maximum penalty you’ll pay for both is the 5% failure-to-file penalty. Even if you owe money and can’t pay it, you should still file to eliminate this penalty. In addition, you may be eligible for other payment options under the IRS Fresh Start Initiative.
If I have a hardship, will I still have to pay penalties?
If you show the IRS reasonable cause for not filing on time, you may not have to pay penalties. For example, if you were a victim of a federally declared natural disaster, the IRS offers relief in many cases, whether in the form of extensions to pay or file your taxes. Check the IRS disaster website for more information.
Hopefully this puts your mind at ease and moves you closer to filing your taxes. Just because you didn’t make the tax deadline doesn’t mean you should forget about filing altogether. Who knows, you may even be missing out on a tax refund.
Don’t worry about knowing these tax rules. TurboTax will ask simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can review, sign, and file your tax return.