You should file your return as soon as possible if you missed the tax return filing deadline. There are two scenarios you may find yourself in:
- You missed the deadline and are owed a tax refund.
- You missed the deadline and owe the IRS money.
In either case, you will benefit from filing your return promptly.
Late Filing for a Tax Refund
The good news is that you won’t be charged any penalties for late filing if you are owed a tax refund. However, that doesn’t mean you should delay filing even longer.
The IRS doesn’t pay you any interest for the right to hold your tax refund money. The longer you wait to file, the longer you are giving the U.S. Treasury an interest-free loan of your money.
If you wait more than three years after the tax filing deadline, the IRS is no longer required to send you your refund money. You miss your chance to receive the money, and you don’t even get a credit towards your future tax liability.
Late Filing With a Balance Due
You will be charged penalties every month you fail to file if you owe the IRS money. Both the failure-to-file and the failure-to-pay penalties may be assessed, along with interest.
If you’ve put off filing because you don’t have the money to pay your taxes, you should file anyway. Send in as much money as you can afford with your tax return. A tax resolution attorney can help you figure out how to deal with the rest of your IRS tax debt.
If you’re just procrastinating, realize it’s costing you money. If you wait too long to file, the IRS can even file a Substitute for Return (SFR) on your behalf. The SFR won’t give you all of your deductions and usually results in a higher tax liability than your actual return.
You may find it easier to get an appointment with a tax professional after tax season ends. However, some tax offices are only open seasonally or have reduced staff and hours after April, so schedule your appointment as soon as possible.
Avoid the problems caused by unfiled tax returns and contact a tax attorney if you need to resolve your tax debt.
The Gartzman Law Firm can help you with unfiled tax returns and other IRS tax problems. Use our contact form to request a consultation with an Atlanta tax resolution attorney.