Frequently Asked Questions for Filing Late

If you are filing late on your taxes, you are not alone. Many people file their taxes late every year and typically have questions about the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about filing late.

1. Should I File If I Cannot Afford to Pay?

Many people wonder whether they should file their taxes if they cannot afford to pay what they owe. Even if you cannot afford to pay the full amount of money, you should still file your taxes as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you are going to incur additional penalties and fees. If you cannot afford to pay your taxes, the IRS will most likely offer you an installment agreement plan. This will allow you to repay your tax debt over an extended period of time. They might also be willing to take a reduced amount through an offer in compromise. However, they can't help you out unless you take the time to file your taxes first.

2. Should I File As Soon As Possible?

If you are filing past the deadline, you should still try to get your taxes done as quickly as possible. You should not continue to wait until the last possible day to file late. In order to receive a tax refund, you are going to need to file your taxes within three years. If you are self-employed, nothing is going to be attributed to Social Security on your behalf. Therefore, if you have the ability to file your taxes, you should go ahead and do so.

3. What Happens If I Don't File Voluntarily?

Many people are tempted to simply ignore the IRS and avoid filing their taxes on purpose. If you decide not to file your taxes, you are going to face a host of issues with the IRS. The IRS is going to send you notifications that you need to file your taxes. If you continue not to file, they are going to allow one of their employees to file your taxes for you. This is done based on past tax returns and other information that they have acquired about you. Most of the time, whenever they file your taxes, they are not going to give you all the deductions that you could get if you filed your own taxes. Whenever they come up with an amount that you owe, they are going to simply send you a bill. Most likely, the bill is going to have late fees and interest attached to it.

4. How Do I Avoid Owing Money Next Year?

Sometimes, people will still owe more money to the IRS even after paying their estimated tax payments or taking withholdings out of their check. If you want to avoid this problem for next year, you need to tell your employer to withhold more money out of your check or do it yourself if you are self-employed.

5. Can I Go to Jail?

If you cannot afford to pay your taxes, they are going to work with you. However, if you continually avoid filing your tax return, they can eventually take the steps to put you in jail.


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