Filing Your Taxes Late

Did You Miss the Filing Deadline? Don’t panic, here’s what you can do.

If you happened to miss the filing deadline, which this year (2018) was originally April 17th but extended to April 18 due to computer problems at the IRS, you should still try to file your income tax return as soon as possible, especially if you owe additional taxes. It is not as vital if the IRS owes you money, but is always better to get caught up as soon as possible, and do be aware that the IRS does have a statute of limitations on refunds.

If you owe taxes the longer you wait to file your tax return the more penalties and interest charges can build up, which will all have to be paid in addition to any money you already owe the IRS.
When you make no effort to pay your taxes, the IRS may levy/garnish your bank accounts and wages, or take other assets. The IRS in addition may file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien on a delinquent taxpayer which can have a negative impact on their credit rating.

If you are self-employed, failing to file a return can result in receiving no credits for Social Security benefits.
If you do not file your past due returns or pay your back taxes, the IRS can take further action against you. Continued non-compliance by flagrant or repeat non-filers could result in additional penalties and/or criminal prosecution as stated by the IRS.

Filing that late tax return can be easier than you think and avoid interest and penalties from piling up even more. You should file all tax returns that are due. If you do owe taxes, depending on your situation, you may qualify for an IRS payment plan/ installment agreement.

Safe, secure and convenient:

There are many different ways to make a tax payment, credit card, check, money order, electronic funds transfer, and cashier’s check.

You can e-file your tax return up to 6 months after the original filing deadline. This gives the people who got a tax extension the opportunity to file online. After that date, which for 2018 is Monday, October 15th, the IRS shuts down the e-file server and begins preparing for the next tax filing season. Therefore, you will need to file a paper tax return beyond that point.

Special Situations for Late Tax Returns

If you are out of the country on the original April filing deadline, you are allowed to have 2 extra months to file your tax return and pay any tax due, though interest charges may still apply to any tax that isn’t paid by the April deadline.

Out of the country filers do not have to file a tax extension request (Form 4868) in order to receive these extra 2 months. The IRS defines “out of the country” as follows:

You live outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of work is outside the United States and Puerto Rico.


You are in military or naval service outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

Out of the country taxpayers who need more time to file (beyond the automatic 2-month extension) can request 4 additional months by filing a tax extension request (Form 4868) along with any taxes due.

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