Regardless of whether or not you can pay in full it is never too late to file tax returns that are due….or in this case overdue. File your past due return in the same way you would file an on-time return.
Filing your past due taxes and paying now can limit interest and penalties. And there is another big benefit to filing past due taxes-your refund. If you are due a refund for withholding or estimated taxes, you must file your return to claim it within 3 years of the return due date. The same rule applies to a right to claim tax credits such as for example the Earned Income Credit.
The IRS holds income tax refunds in cases where records show that one or more income tax returns are past due, and will hold them until they get the past due return or receive an acceptable reason for not filing the past due return or returns.
Another benefit to filing past due returns is that if you are self-employed and do not file your federal income tax return, any self-employment income you earned will not be reported to the Social Security Administration and you will not receive your credits toward Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
Avoid Issues Regarding Loans and Credit
If you don’t file your return it can affect your credit and loan approvals may be delayed or denied. Copies of filed tax returns may be requested by financial institutions, mortgage lenders/brokers, etc., when you apply to buy or refinance a home, get a business loan, or even apply for federal aid for higher education.
It is always wise to file your taxes on time for many reasons, and the IRS does offer an installment plan to help you be able to pay any taxes due. And be aware that if you do not file on your own, the IRS may file a substitute return for you, which might not credit you for deductions and exemptions you may be entitled to.
So, if you have for whatever reason not filed on time then do it now….as the old saying goes, ‘Better late than never’.