Taxes. They are inevitable; there’s no way to get rid of them. Hopefully, most will get lucky and won’t even have to read this article because they got a refund this year. In which case, good for you! Whichever situation you may be in, it is good to know what to do if you forget to file/pay taxes on time. If you’re forgetful like I am, keep reading.
First, I would like to make a note that I am not a tax expert. If you want advice, talk to a tax expert because they will be able to help you with all your tax questions. I can give a general overview of what I have learned throughout my life, and what needs to happen in order to be able to file and pay your taxes properly.
If you haven’t filed yet, file your taxes right away because the deadline is today, April 18! If you’re late filing your taxes, you can get in big trouble. Believe it or not, the penalty is more severe when you don’t file than if you do not pay on time. The IRS understands you may not have all the money you owe at once, which is okay. If you forget to file, though, the IRS looks down on that because filing taxes is much easier to do, though it seems overwhelming. The filing date for 2015’s taxes is TODAY. If you file after and owe taxes, you will be subject to a “failure to file” penalty and owe 5% of your unpaid tax bill for every month after April you don’t pay. That is the harsh and severe penalty. If you file on time but can’t afford to pay your taxes right now, the penalties will be less severe, but there still will be penalties. If you can afford to pay a portion on time, it is worth it because you will ultimately owe less in the long run. If you call the IRS, they may be able to help your situation and might offer an installment plan. This can help many Americans in the long run and ultimately should be the safe way to go.
All in all, file and pay your taxes on time. If your boss needs something done on Monday, don’t wait until Tuesday to get it done. You’ll likely get in trouble. The same goes for getting your taxes done. So, drop that smartphone you were watching cat videos on and file your taxes now. It shouldn’t take you more than an hour, and you won’t have to worry about them for another 365 days.