Missed the Tax Return Deadline?
The tax deadline for most taxpayers was Tuesday, April 18, 2017. If you missed the filing deadline:
- File and pay as soon as possible. Taxpayers who owe federal income tax should file and pay as soon as they can to minimize any penalty and interest charges. For taxpayers due a refund, there is no penalty for filing a late return.
- File electronically. E-file is the easiest, safest and most accurate way to file a tax return. The IRS will send electronic confirmation when it receives the tax return and issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
- Pay as much as possible. If taxpayers owe but can’t pay in full, they should pay as much as they can when they file their tax return. Electronic payment is the quickest and easiest way to pay tax, secure and easy way to pay a balance due directly from a checking or savings account. Pay any owed amounts as soon as possible to minimize penalties and interest.
- Make monthly payments through an installment agreement. Those who need more time to pay taxes can apply for a direct debit installment agreement. There’s no need to write and mail a check each month with a direct debit plan.
- File as soon as possible to get a refund. Taxpayers who are not required to file may still get a refund if they had taxes withheld from wages or they qualified for certain tax credits. Those who don’t file their return within three years could lose their right to the refund.
Filing Late and Paying Penalties!
April 18 was this year’s deadline for most people to file their federal tax return and pay any tax they owe. If taxpayers are due a refund, there is no penalty if they file a late tax return.
Taxpayers who owe tax, and failed to file and pay on time, will most likely owe interest and penalties on the tax they pay late. To keep interest and penalties to a minimum, taxpayers should file their tax return and pay any tax owed as soon as possible.
- Two penalties may apply. One penalty is for filing late and one is for paying late. They can add up fast. Interest accrues on top of penalties
- Penalty for late filing. If taxpayers file their 2016 tax return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is $205 or, if they owe less than $205, 100 percent of the unpaid tax. Otherwise, the penalty can be as much as 5 percent of their unpaid taxes each month up to a maximum of 25 percent.
- Penalty for late payment. The penalty is generally 0.5 percent of taxpayers’ unpaid taxes per month. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of their unpaid taxes.
- Combined penalty per month. If both the late filing and late payment penalties apply, the maximum amount charged for the two penalties is 5 percent per month.
- Taxpayers should file even if they can’t pay. Filing and paying as soon as possible will keep interest and penalties to a minimum. If a taxpayer can’t pay in full, getting a loan or paying by debit or credit card may be less expensive than owing the IRS.
- Payment options. Directly from a checking or savings account. The IRS will work with taxpayers to help them resolve their tax debt. Most people can set up a payment plan.
- Late payment penalty may not apply. If taxpayers requested an extension of time to file their income tax return by the tax due date and paid at least 90 percent of the taxes they owe, they may not face a failure-to-pay penalty. However, they must pay the remaining balance by the extended due date. Taxpayers will owe interest on any taxes they pay after the April 18 due date.
- No penalty if reasonable cause. Taxpayers will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if they can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time.
Amending Your Tax Return
Taxpayers can fix mistakes or omissions on their tax return by filing an amended tax return. Those who need to amend will find the following tips helpful.
- File using paper form. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct the tax return. Taxpayers can’t file amended returns electronically. Mail the Form 1040X to the address listed in the form’s instructions.
- Amend to correct errors. File an amended tax return to correct errors or make changes to an original tax return. For example, taxpayers should amend to change their filing status, or to correct their income, deductions or credits.
- Don’t amend for math errors, missing forms. Taxpayers generally don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors on their original return. The IRS will automatically correct these items. In addition, taxpayers do not need to file an amended return if they forgot to attach tax forms, such as a Form W-2 or a schedule. The IRS will mail a request to the taxpayer, if needed.
- File within three-year time limit. Taxpayers usually have three years from the date they filed the original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. A taxpayer can file it within two years from the date they paid the tax, if that date is later. That means the last day for most people to file a claim for a refund for tax year 2013 is April 18, 2017.
- Use separate forms for each year. Taxpayers who are amending more than one tax return must file a Form 1040X for each tax year. Mail each year’s Form 1040X in separate envelopes to avoid confusion. Note the tax year of the amended return on the top of the Form 1040X. Check the form’s instructions for where to mail the amended return.
- Attach other forms with changes. If a taxpayer uses other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, they need to attach them to the Form 1040X.
- Wait to file for corrected refund for tax year 2016. If due a refund from their original tax year 2016 return, taxpayers should wait to get it before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns may take up to 16 weeks to process.
- Pay additional tax. If the taxpayer will owe more tax, they should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest. Pay any tax directly from a checking or savings account at no cost, or set up a payment plan.