What Happens if I Can’t File My Taxes on Time?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires every American who has worked and paid federal taxes greater than $300 to file a federal tax return each year. The tax return must be filed between January 1 and April 15 of the following calendar year. But, what happens if you're unable to file your taxes on time?

Life Happens & the IRS Understands

The IRS understands that sometimes obstacles stand in the way of getting things done, especially your federal tax return. They allow extensions to provide those people with extra time to file their taxes. This extension must be request before the April 15th deadline. Requesting a deadline to file taxes must be done by completing a special form available at the IRS website.

If you do not want to complete the paperwork at the IRS.gov website, there are still other options available. Many people prefer paper and the old-fashioned methods and that is okay! Form 4868 can also be completed and mailed directly to the IRS website if you'd like to file for an extension. This form must be received in the IRS no later than the April 15th for an extension request to be granted. But, what happens if you miss this deadline?

Many consequences go into effect if you fail to file a tax return on time, including a 1% premium interest rate added to any monies that are due to Uncle Sam. Forfeiture of your refund or a delay in the refund is also a consequence of not filing taxes on time. If you are anticipating a refund from the federal government, do not cause added time and ensure that you file your taxes on time.


Can't Pay What You Owe?

Some people think it is best to avoid filing taxes if they owe Uncle Sam money and don't have it to pay when it is time to pay the taxes. But, this is untrue and the IRS recommends that you file, even in such a situation. Filing taxes, even in situations where you cannot pay, ensures that the interest rates and penalties do not begin accruing. These amounts can add up very quickly, and since payment arrangements may be available, it's best to file and learn your options ahead of time.

Tax Help is Available

More information about filing taxes on time, filing extensions, and penalties for failure to file can be found at sites such as HelpWithTaxProblems.org. This no-cost website provides additional tax information as well, ensuring that every individual is well-prepared when filing their taxes. It is much easier to use this website to gather the tax information you need than it is to call the IRS and wait on hold or face the consequences of failing to file your federal tax return on time. Plus, there are no costs to harden the wallet. You can use HelpWithTaxProblems.org and other sites like it whenever there are questions or concerns and you need tax help.