The deadline for filing your 2018 tax return has passed. If April 15th, 2019 has passed you by and left you searching “what to do if I forgot to file my taxes?”, Community Tax is here to help. First thing’s first — you need to file your taxes as soon as possible.
Consequences of Filing Taxes Late
Filing your taxes late is a stressful situation that no taxpayer wants to face. Besides navigating what to do and where to go to file your taxes late, you may have one of these frightening consequences lurking around the corner if you don’t act fast.
- Failure-to-File Penalty (FTF): If you forgot to file your 2018 taxes — and don’t plan to file anytime soon, you may want to think again! The failure-to-file penalty is a 5% per month penalty that can last up to 5 months from the April 15th filing date, or 25% of your total tax bill. What this means for you: a growing tax bill each month you forget to file.
- Failure-to-Pay Penalty (FTP): Filed your taxes but put off your payment? The IRS could hit you with a failure-to-pay penalty for this kind of taboo tax conduct. The FTP penalty is 0.5% of your tax liability for each month — up to 25% of your total tax bill. What this means for you: you guessed it — more taxes.
- Underpayment Penalties: So, you filed your taxes — hey — you even made a payment to the IRS! All good, right? Whether you tried to skate by on a lower payment or mistakenly underpaid your tax bill, don’t think the IRS will let you get away with it. Even if you filed everything correctly (and on-time) you can still face penalties for not paying the correct amount for your tax dues. Underpayment penalties can range from small to large fines — and even jail time if the IRS concludes that there was criminal activity involved.
How To File Late Taxes: Step by Step
1) Gather your tax paperwork
- Personal information (SSN, current address, etc.)
- Personal information for spouse and/or dependents
- W-2s, 1099s
- Bank and financial statements
- Miscellaneous income records
- Receipts for medical expenses
- Receipts for charitable donations
- Property tax receipts
2) File for an extension
If you owe money on your taxes, you’ll need to file for an extension before filing your tax return. Filing for an extension is simple with Community Tax. Our professionals can brief you on everything you need to get approved for an extension, file your taxes with minimal late filing penalties, and help you identify the best tax payment plan.
3) File your taxes
4) Evaluate your tax payment options
5) Get help filing your taxes late
While it’s not too late to file your taxes following the April 15, 2019 deadline, you should file your taxes as soon as possible. The easiest way to file late taxes is with the help of a tax professional. Our team of Enrolled Agents and CPAs are here to expedite the late filing process and get you the best rate possible on your late tax return.
Late Taxes — FAQ
Will I still get a tax refund if I file my taxes late?
Even if you forgot to file your taxes, you’re still eligible for a tax refund. Once you file, that is.
Is there a penalty for filing late if I expect a tax refund?
If you’re owed a tax refund this year, you will not be penalized for filing late. However, the sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund! You must file your tax return within three years of the original tax return due date in order to claim your refund.
When should I file for an extension?
The moment you miss the April 15th tax deadline, you should start thinking — better yet— start filing for an extension!
How long does my extension last?
A tax extension will buy you an additional six months to file your taxes (October 15, 2019). But as all things related to the IRS, time is of the essence. Filing for an extension with Community Tax is simple — and we’ll help ensure your taxes are taken care of ASAP!
What happens if I forget to file taxes after my extension has expired?
Once you get approved for a filing extension, it’s important to file your taxes immediately! If you miss the October 15th deadline, you can bet the IRS will take action to collect your tax dues.
Here’s what you can expect if you don’t file before the extension expiry date:
- Substitute Return: If you fail to file your taxes following your second chance, the IRS may file a substitute tax return for you. The substitute return will not consider any of the exemptions or deductions you’re qualified for (which could make your tax bill higher). If the IRS does file a substitute return for your taxes, they will notify you of your tax bill and start taking collection measures following notice.
- Tax Collection: The IRS has many methods of collecting unpaid taxes including tax liens and levying of taxpayer assets like retirement savings, property, and life insurance policies.
How do I pay my taxes?
- Cash: You can pay your taxes in cash at a registered PayNearMe location with an IRS official payment code.
- Check: Even if you decide to e-file your taxes, you can pay by check or money order by mailing a check with your completed Form 1040-V Payment Voucher.
- Direct Pay: You can pay your taxes with a direct withdrawal from your checking or savings account using the US State Treasury Direct Pay system.
- Same Day Wire: You can also wire your tax dues to the IRS from your bank — just make sure to complete the same day payment worksheet.
- Credit or Debit: Most IRS payment processors will accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
What if I can’t pay my taxes?
Even the IRS understands — life happens. If you’ve found that your tax dues are too much of a burden on your budget, Community Tax can help you find the right solution to settle up with the IRS — without sacrificing your financial stability. From payment plans to offer in compromise agreements, our team of tax professionals can help every step of the way.
What is an Offer in Compromise?
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a part of the IRS’ Fresh Start Initiative. An OIC is a settlement agreement made when a taxpayer faces insurmountable tax debt. If approved, the OIC can lessen the amount of taxes due to the IRS.
What are back taxes?
Back taxes are taxes that have either been partially or entirely unpaid to the IRS in a given tax year. These can include federal, state, and local taxes — and can be subject to additional interest or other penalties. You may see back taxes on next year’s tax return, or you may receive a notice from the IRS if you have an outstanding back tax bill.
What happens if I never file my taxes?
If failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties aren’t enough to motivate you to file your taxes — perhaps these consequences will.
If you decide not to file your taxes, the IRS may…
- Place a tax lien on your property in order to secure tax payment
- Seize your property and/or assets
- Make you forfeit your tax refund
- File charges for tax evasion — which could result in a misdemeanor or felony charge
- Revoke your passport
Don’t Avoid Filing Your Taxes — Even if They’re Late
Whether you’ve missed the tax deadline or you’re already prepping for next year — remember this: file your taxes as soon as possible. If you’re just now coming to the realization that you still need to file your 2018 taxes, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Filing taxes late with Community Tax is simple. From getting you the best rate on your tax return to helping you avoid harsh late filing penalties, our team of tax professionals can help you navigate every step of the way!