It's been a few days since April 17 (April 15 in most years) has come and gone and for just about all of us that's a good thing, but if you are among the many who blew it off altogether, read on.
First, don't panic but file as soon as possible. If you owe money, the quicker you file your return, the less penalties and interest you will have to pay. Even if you have to mail us your return, the sooner we receive it, the better.
E-file is still your best option. IRS e-file programs are generally available through the extension deadline – October 15, 2012. Also, Free File is still available. If your income is $57,000 or less, you will qualify to file their return for free through IRS Free File. If you make more than $57,000 and are comfortable preparing your own tax return, the IRS offers Free File Fillable Forms. There is no software assistance with Free File Fillable Forms, but it does the basic math calculations for you.
Pay as much as you are able when you file...even if it isn’t the total amount due. Then apply for an installment agreement to pay the remaining balance. Apply online using the IRS Online Payment Agreement Application .
Penalties and interest may be due. If you missed the filing deadline, you may be charged a penalty for filing after the due date. Filing as soon as possible will keep this penalty to a minimum. ou could also be hot with a late payment penalty. The best way to keep this penalty to a minimum is to pay as much as possible, as soon as possible.
Although it cannot waive interest charges, the IRS will consider reductions in these penalties if you can establish a reasonable cause for your late filing and payment.
The last thing to keep in mind is that you a refund coming your way so consider filing a return to get it even if you don't have to file. If your income is below the normal filing requirement/threshold, you may be entitled to a refund of taxes that were withheld from your wages, quarterly estimated payments or other special credits. You will not be charged any penalties or interest for filing after the due date, but if your return is not filed within three years you could forfeit your right to the refund.
Finally, do take a look at our Fresh Start information if you are struggling to make it happen. We want to be a help in the process and not a hinder, and we have the flexibility to do so based on your complete set of facts and circumstances.