Missed the deadline for you to file tax returns? Here we look at the steps you can take to file late.
Most taxpayers are aware of the mid-April deadline for filing their return. Unfortunately, millions of people let this deadline come and go every year. It is important to know which steps to take if you need to file your tax return late.
First and foremost, you need to act fast – this is especially true if you owe the IRS money. If you owe money and do not file on time, the IRS will begin to assess penalties and interest on your account. In short, you will end up owing them even more money.
On the other hand, if you are due a refund your situation is not as urgent. The IRS will not assess penalties and interest, but you cannot receive your refund until you file a final return.
Can I E-file After The Tax Deadline?
This year, you have until October 17, 2011 to electronically file your return. After that, the IRS shuts down the e-file system and begins to prepare for the next year. In turn, you will be forced to file a paper return.
What happens if you don’t file a return? Soon enough, you will receive a notice from the IRS requesting that you file a return. This is your first “warning” and one that you should take seriously.
Even if you cannot afford to pay what you owe, it is better to file your return than to hope you can continue to hide. Remember, the failure to file penalty (5% for each month you are late) is much more severe than the failure to pay penalty (0.5% percent for each month you are late).
If you need any help preparing a late return, you can use tax software through October. Programs like H&R Block At Home Online Premium or TurboTax Online Home and Business come with e-file options and make it easy to prepare and file tax returns late. What's more, there are a variety of free tax software options to help file taxes without paying extra.
After the October deadline, you are on your own or forced to hire a tax professional. To avoid all this confusion and potential penalties/interest, file your return on time every year.
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