Imagine this scenario: it’s mid-April and you’ve just realized that you haven’t filed your taxes yet. You’re probably feeling a mix of anxiety and dread, and you may be wondering if you’re going to face any penalties.
If you’re in this situation, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to minimize the damage. Here are 8 tips for filing your taxes late:
1. File as soon as possible.
The sooner you file your taxes, the lower the penalties will be. If you owe money to the IRS, they will charge you interest on the unpaid amount. The longer you wait to file, the more interest you’ll have to pay.
2. Request an extension.
If you can’t file your taxes by the April deadline, you can request an extension. This will give you additional time to get your affairs in order and file your return. Keep in mind that an extension only gives you more time to file, not more time to pay. If you owe money to the IRS, you’ll still need to pay it by the April deadline.
3. Pay what you can.
If you can’t pay the full amount of taxes you owe, don’t despair. Pay what you can and make arrangements to pay the rest later. The IRS has a variety of payment plans available, so there’s sure to be one that fits your situation.
4. Don’t overlook deductions and credits.
Even if you’re filing late, be sure to take advantage of all the deductions and credits you’re entitled to. This will help reduce the amount of taxes you owe.
5. Use an e-file.
If you file electronically, you can receive your refund much faster than if you file a paper return. And if you owe money, you can arrange to have it deducted from your bank account so you don’t have to write a check.
6. Check for errors.
If you’re audited by the IRS, one of the first things they’ll do is check your return for errors. If they find any, you could be facing penalties and interest charges. So it pays to double-check your return before you file it.
7. Keep good records.
If you’re ever audited, the IRS will want to see proof of your income and expenses. So it’s important to keep good records throughout the year. That way, if you are audited, you’ll have everything you need to back up your return.
8. Be prepared for next year.
Once you’ve gotten through this tax season, take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Get organized early so you have all the documents you need. And if you owe money, make arrangements to pay it off so you don’t find yourself in the same situation next year.
Filing your taxes late can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster. By taking some simple steps, you can minimize the penalties and get your affairs in order.
If you’re struggling to resolve your tax debt, consider speaking with a tax relief attorney. McClure & Stewart is a local tax defense firm that helps taxpayers resolve their IRS problems. They can help you negotiate with the IRS and develop a plan to get your debt under control. With their help, you can get your taxes paid and get on with your life. For more information, visit their website at www.mcclureandstewart.com or give them a call at 801-904-3045.