April 17 (or Tax Day 2018) has come and gone. 29 million taxpayers paid just before the deadline last year.
If you weren’t so lucky and didn’t make it on time, don’t panic.
Whatever the reason you missed the tax deadline, there are things you can do to make it right but you must do them now.
File as Soon as Possible
If you qualify for a refund, there is no penalty for filing late. However, if you owe, your due amount can increase with penalties and interest.
Even if you can’t pay, you should still file. The penalties for not paying taxes on time are significantly less than the penalties for not filing taxes before the deadline.
Find a good tax preparer for help with your tax return. Now that the rush is over, it may be easier to find someone to relieve the stress of filing taxes.
You can also work out a payment plan with the IRS if needed. The minimum monthly payment depends on the amount you owe.
Use Free File
The IRS says that about 70 percent of taxpayers are eligible for Free File. You can file using this program through October 15.
Free File lets taxpayers prepare and file returns online for free. If your income was below $66,000 and you are okay with preparing your own returns, you can use the Fillable Forms on Free File to e-file.
Review Options to Extend the Tax Deadline
The IRS offers some taxpayers additional time automatically including active duty military or those who are not in the country. Tell the IRS what happened if you had an event that prevented you from filing your taxes.
You can fill out a form to request an extension and avoid penalties. This form is called Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement.
Check if You Need to File
Not everyone has to file an income tax return. You can meet with a tax professional to see if you need to file.
You can also check out the IRS website to determine if you must file.
Remember this changes annually, so don’t assume that you won’t have to file again next year.
Plan for Next Year
Tax Day is not a surprise – it comes the same day every year. Now is the time to figure out the best plan to help avoid missing the deadline next year.
You can use software to help you track expenses and income. You can also hire your tax professional now to begin collecting information for next year with regular meetings.
Simple planning can save a lot of stress, such as scanning your receipts or entering them in the software immediately. You won’t have to scramble to gather all your information.
Want to Learn More?
Now that you know what to do after missing the tax deadline, you can read about fun ways to de-stress.
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