If you have missed the April 15th filing deadline, it is also too late to request an extension of time to file. The important thing at this point is that you file your return as soon as possible.
If you owe taxes, you are susceptible to interest and penalties. So the sooner you file (even if you cannot pay what is own) the better. An electronic filing may be your best bet as transmission and acceptance happens quick than mailing. With that said, the IRS stops accepting electronic submissions for the current tax year after Oct 15th. So if you plan to e-file, do so before this date.
If you are getting a refund back, chances are you are not going to lose it. You most likely won't be subject to late fees either. But it needs to be claimed within three years time or you may forfeit the right to collect it.
For more information on what to do if you are behind on your taxes, click here.
I'm late, does this mean I will be audited? Those who report under $200,000 in income have an audit rate of just 0.88 percent. Those with higher incomes are far more likely to be audited, but there is still only a small chance. Even those who make over $1 million per year only have about a 10 percent chance of being audited. Being late with your filing pays little to no role in being audited, an audit is simply a recalculation of your tax return.
The IRS assesses a variety of penalties, including penalties for substantial understatement of tax, filing an erroneous claim for refund or credit, or filing a frivolous return. The most common IRS penalties, however, are for failure to file by the filing deadline, failure to pay by the due date, or both.
The penalty for failing to file an individual return by the due date is typically 5% of the taxpayer’s unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month for which the return is overdue, but is capped at 25% of the taxpayer’s unpaid taxes.
The minimum penalty for a return filed more than 60 days after the due date (or extended due date) is $205 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is less.
The penalty for failing to pay taxes by the due date is generally 0.5% of the taxpayer’s unpaid taxes for each month or portion of a month after the due date, capped at 25% of the unpaid taxes.
However, the failure-to-pay penalty increases to 1% per month for any tax that remains unpaid one day after the IRS issues a demand for immediate payment or 10 days after the IRS issues a notice of intent to levy assets.
If a taxpayer who is subject to a failure-to-pay penalty filed on time and has an installment agreement with the IRS, the failure-to-pay penalty is reduced to 0.25% per month.
If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5% failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty. For a return filed more than 60 days after the due date (or extended due date), however, the minimum penalty is $205 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever is less.
A taxpayer will not incur a failure-to-pay penalty if the taxpayer requests an automatic six-month extension of time to file by the tax deadline and pays 90% or more of the taxpayer’s actual tax liability by the original due date and the balance by the extended due date.
A taxpayer can avoid a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty by showing that the taxpayer failed to file or pay on time because of reasonable cause rather than willful neglect.
Exceptions also apply for members of the Armed Forces serving in a combat zone, for citizens and resident aliens abroad, and in certain disaster situations.
A penalty is generally payable once the IRS issues a notice and demand. The penalty is then paid in the same way as taxes.
The IRS notice will contain the name of the penalty, the applicable Internal Revenue Code section, and how the penalty was computed (or information on how to obtain the computation).
Taxpayers can now pay via credit or debit card (may incur an additional fee) though an e-pay provider (list can be found here). In order to pay by credit card, you will need to have your Social Security number and your spouse's if you are filing jointly. You will also need your billing address and credit card information, including the number, expiration date, and security code (CVV). Additionally, you must provide your daytime telephone number and an email address because these will be used to confirm the payment.
Some taxpayers may choose to pay with a personal check, cashier's check, or money order. These must be made payable to the United States Treasury. You will need to include your daytime phone number and your Social Security number. Be sure to label the payment with the year the payment was for and the form that you used for your return. Do not use staples or paper clips – place the return form(s) and your check or money order together in the envelope and always mail using USPS certified mail.
Finally, the IRS also allows fillers to pay directly via EFTPS.gov. Taxpayers can enroll online and make payments by phone or online at any time of the day or night, seven days a week. More information can be found at eftps.gov.