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Apr 21, 2017

Another year, another tax day come and gone. Millions of Americans filed their taxes before or on April 18 this year – but what if you didn’t? Here are some helpful tips.
 
Stop wasting time and file as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. Use IRS DirectPay or one of the other methods discussed in this previous article. If you’re owed money, you don’t need to panic as much. Refunds from 2016 can be filed for until April 18, 2020. If you owe money to the IRS, you’ll get several reminders until the service files a substitute return on your behalf – which may make you owe more.  The initial late fee equals 5% of unpaid tax bill every month. Chronic late payers or tax avoiders can be subject to criminal charges.
 
File for an extension to avoid penalties by visiting the IRS website. Filing for an extension does not automatically grant you one, however, so pay close attention.
 
Use the IRS’s e-file system to quickly finish your taxes. This system is available through October 15, no matter who actually prepares your taxes. If you get your extension, this is the easiest way to finish them.
 
Pay as much as you can. Just because you can’t afford to pay the lump sum due at once, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay anything at all. The IRS offers payment options to ease the burden of large dues.
 
Apply for an installment agreement. You can get an extension and pay your dues in chunks with this type of agreement.
 

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