Learn about Late Tax Filing & How to File Tax Extensions Today!


File Tax Returns: What Late Tax Filing Costs You

File tax returnsYou should file tax returns on or before April 15th of every year. With the ability to electronically file tax returns, there is little excuse to not file tax returns on time. Yet, every year many people just forget. Unfortunately, the IRS does not accept the "I forgot" excuse and has late tax filing penalties to punish those who file tax returns late. It is important to know the tax filing rules so you are prepared if you happen to forget to file or file tax returns late one year.

"Timely Mailed, Timely Filed" Rule

The IRS finally made the tax filing rule in 2010 in which all tax returns mailed on or before April 15th are considered filed on time. This applies even if the IRS receives the return after April 15th, meaning you can send your return with confidence that the tax filing date stamped on the envelope is proof enough that you filed on time.

Extension to File Tax Returns

You can file for an extension of time if needed. The IRS will give you an extra six months to file tax returns. This is a great option for individuals who itemize their taxes or families that have new dependents or qualify for several new tax credits. In order to request a tax filing extension, you will need to fill out Form 4868. This extension is automatic and will not require reasons or circumstances for needing extra time to file tax returns. However, an Extension of Time is not an extension to pay any money that you owe the IRS for the current tax filing year.

Late Tax Filing Penalties

If you are late filing your tax return, then you are subject to late tax filing penalties. This is only for taxpayers who end up owing the IRS once they file tax returns. The penalty is 5 percent of the total tax debt for every month that the return is late, up to 25 percent. If your tax return is at least 60 days late, you are assessed a minimum late filing penalty of $100 or 100 percent of your tax debt, whichever is lower. For example, if you happen to owe $10,000 for the tax filing year 2010 and were 3 months late filing the return, the IRS would assess $500 in monthly penalty fees, on top of the minimum penalty of $100. When you add both to the $10,000 you already owe, you see how your tax debt can balloon quickly. This calculation does not include any tax debt penalties or interest, which are added monthly as well.

If you do forget to file tax returns and do not file for a tax filing extension, the IRS may file a tax return for you. When the IRS files a tax return for you it does not give you any tax deductions or credits you may qualify for, other than the standard flat tax filing deduction. This could lead to a tax bill instead of a tax refund. Also, with you being unaware of this tax bill due, it could grow with penalties and interest, and sometime in the future you could find a tax lien on your credit because of this.

Reasonable Causes to File Tax Returns Late

There is some relief for taxpayers who file tax returns late and have a legitimate excuse as to why they filed late. The IRS has a "Reasonable Excuse" Clause and will drop late tax filing penalties if you have a reasonable cause for filing your return late. Such acceptable excuses include serious illness and death, natural disasters like tornadoes or hurricanes that destroy your home, or probable cause for ignorance.

If you have years of unfiled tax returns or are in IRS debt because of late tax filing, contact us today! Fill out the form or call the number above to see if penalties of late tax filing can be removed from your tax debt.


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Taxes Owed
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$210,207.07
$163,820.13
$88,590.94
$74,589.20
Payment to IRS
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$0.00
$86.00
$0.00
$100.00

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