Filing Late Taxes: It's Never Too Late to Get Back on Track!

Quick Guide to Filing Late Taxes

filing late taxes helpThe best thing a taxpayer can do to avoid IRS problems is to file their taxes on time every year. Those that don't often wind up with Substitutes for Return filed for them, and wind up owing much more in taxes. However, many taxpayers don't file either out of fear or lack of tax law knowledge. Fortunately, taxpayers filing late taxes can alleviate a lot of the problems not filing created.

Instructions for Filing Late Taxes

You cannot simply hop online and start filing late taxes. After the October 15th extension deadline, your taxes must be filed by mail. If the IRS has filed a Substitute for Return for you, you can replace them with your own personally prepared tax return. You can do this the same way you would filing late taxes.

Locate the tax forms for the years you are filing late taxes. You can find their PDF files on the IRS website. Fill out the tax forms. Then, mail each year's return and forms separately from the other years by mail. You can look up the correct address to send any tax forms on the IRS website.

What to Expect When Filing Late Taxes

After filing late taxes, a tax debt will be assessed. There will also be penalties and interest. A Failure to File Penalty is added when a tax return isn't filed by its due date. Every month your tax return isn't filed past its due date, five percent is added to your tax debt. After five months, the penalty caps at 25% of your debt. The Failure to Pay Penalty is also added, and never stops accumulating. Half a percent is added every month your tax debt is not paid in full. Interest grows every day your tax isn't paid in full. The rate changes every three months, but has been hovering around 4%.

Tax debts are scary, but not filing late taxes has much harsher repercussions. Just because you didn't file a tax return doesn't mean you won't owe. If the IRS files for you, you will likely have a much larger debt. Not filing is also the only thing the IRS can send a person to prison for. Filing late taxes gives you the chance to save yourself from a higher tax debt and possible jail time.

What to Do with Debt from Filing Late Taxes

Another reason why filing late taxes is a good idea is that you can do absolutely nothing about your taxes until all of your required tax returns are filed. If you have a tax debt, you will need to do something about paying off the debt. The following three options work for different situations.

  1. 120 Day Extension to Pay - If you just need a month or so to collect the funds to pay off your tax debt, this is the option for you. Remember, the longer your debt goes unpaid, the more you wind up paying.
  2. Installment Agreement - Certain taxpayers may qualify to make monthly payments to the IRS. There are several different types that fit different situations.
  3. Offer in Compromise - A small percentage of taxpayers may qualify to settle their tax debts. To do this you must prove Doubt as to Collectibility, Doubt as to Liability, or Effective Tax Administration.

If you are filing late taxes for many tax years, you may want to get help from a qualified tax preparer. A professional has better access to accurate income reports for older years. If you have a tax debt higher than $10,000, you should talk to a tax debt professional. The IRS is very aggressive with higher tax debts like this. Talking to them on your own may make things worse for you.

Do you need help filing late taxes? Consult a professional. Call now or fill out the form below for a free tax debt consultation on filing late taxes and what your next step should be. We'll only connect you with a tax debt relief company holding at least a B rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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