Taxes are a part of life for most societies. You can expect to file and pay them just as sure as the sun rises in the morning. But what happens if you fail to file your taxes on time? Is there anything that you can do to mitigate your losses, penalties or discomfort? Of course! Whether you plain old forgot, were out of the country or undergoing some sort of hardship, you don’t have to lose sleep over filing taxes. Well-informed tax attorneys can help you get back on track.
April 15 is the annual deadline in America to request an extension to file, file taxes and pay what is owed unless otherwise noted by the IRS. You may be surprised to learn that there is no such thing as filing taxes late for the individual who does not owe any tax and is expecting a refund. Once you’ve realized that you failed to file your taxes on time and that you owe taxes, your best option is to talk to a tax professional. A certified public accountant or an attorney are just two of your better choices. They can guide you through the process and help you formulate a plan of action. After your consultation, it is up to you to follow through to obtain the best possible outcome. The IRS recommends that you pay what you estimate you owe even if you will be filing late to lessen interest and penalties.
There are penalties assessed against taxpayers that do not file and pay on time. If you have reasonable cause that can be proven or substantiated for your late filing and subsequent late payment, you will not have to pay a failure to file or failure to pay penalty. You will, however, still owe taxes. The two penalties are for not filing on time and for not paying on time. Not only are there penalties assessed, there is also interest that accrues on the tax owed. Generally, the penalty for late payment is 0.5% of the tax owed per month. The penalty is the same for late filing. The maximum amount assessed against those who have both penalties is 5% per month.
Because there are penalties and interest to contend with, you may need to set up a payment plan with the IRS, take out a personal loan or seek legal help to resolve your tax debt. Other payment options include making an offer in compromise and a temporary delay in collection. You will need to qualify for both of these options. IRS Direct Pay makes paying fast and easy once you settle your debt.
If you find yourself in a little bit of tax trouble, be smart and seek professional help. You may be surprised at just how much better off things turn out. The IRS expects tax compliance from all taxable residents and citizens, so it is best to do your part, but if you find yourself in need of help, we are here for you.