What Should I Do if I Missed the Extended Tax Deadline?

Tax Planning African woman sitting at her desk and writing in her notebook.

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
  • Interest

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.

Comments (12) Leave your comment

  1. I have a problem…i did not file my 2011 taxes but I did file my 2012 taxes and got a return in 2012…My 2011 taxes I will owe. I’m going to file my 2011 taxes this year with my 2013 taxes. What am I up against? I’m kinda scared to file cause I should have done it when I filed my 2012 taxes.

  2. Hello. How can i file for taxes for 2012, and how long it will take to resolve this problem? what forme do i need to file? my income for 2012 are about 9500$. Thank you!

  3. I have GREAT news for anyone that started and finished their taxes and did not file. GO TO browsing history and look up the last place you were on Turbo tax to pick up where you left off. Pay and File. IT WORKS providing you did not DELETE your browsing history.

  4. I made an extension from April 15 2013 to October 15 2013. Now I am in terrible situation. All the money I collected for IRS I had to sent to my relatives to Ukraine. My brother has to go thought very hard surgery. Is there any possibilities to make an extention from October 13, or to have a payment plan.I would pay monthly and I will be able to pay all amount in full in 4 month.(after October). May be I have to make my first payment before October 15? Please give me a good advize how can I do this?I am a foreigner and I make this taxes the first time in my life.
    Please, I will be apprweciated for any help

  5. My friend did not file taxes in 2011 because was told he was under the gross income amount required for filing. even though, there were 1099’s involved, should he have filed? he also had been filing jointly with his wife that was deceased in 2011..now he is having trouble getting his taxes filed for 2012, should he go back and file 2011 and would there be a penalty??

    1. Hi Molly,
      Yes he can still file a 2011 tax return and indicate that his wife was deceased. He should file he may be entitled to a tax refund especially if he is eligible for tax credits like the earned income tax credit. He can go online and download prior year’s software. After his 2011 is completed he can also prepare his 2012.
      There probably would not be a penalty if he was under the gross income requirement.
      Here is the link to download previous tax years
      http://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/past-years-products.jsp
      I hope this helps you.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  6. I did not realize Turbo Tax online would shut down on or just after the 15th of Oct. I lost about half of the return. How best should I proceed? I am old and a very slow typist.

    1. Hi Roscoe,
      I am so sorry that you lost some of your data. TurboTax Online has to shut down in conjunction with the IRS since the IRS stops accepting e-filed returns at that time, because they have to process 2011 extended returns and get ready for the 2012 tax season. You can download our 2011 software and finish your tax return. Here is the link http://turbotax.intuit.com/personal-taxes/past-years-products.jsp
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      1. I am finishing up my return for 2011 that was on extension, and I just received a copy of my ex-husband’s return that he has already filed, as per our divorce agreement. He has claimed alimony for $31,000 more than I actually received from him. What will the IRS do in this situation? I receive my alimony as a direct deposit to my checking account twice monthly, so I do have documentation to prove the amount that was received by me.

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