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What happens if you miss the tax deadline?

April 27, 2018


What happens if a taxpayer missed the tax filing deadline for 2017? First, it is important to note that the deadline changed this year. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) experienced a glitch on its website on Tax Day. As a result, the agency moved deadline for 2017 filings from April 17 to April 18, 2018.

The IRS generally does not penalize those who expect a refund.

What if I owe a tax payment to the IRS? The IRS will generally assess a penalty if the filing is late and a tax is due.

The amount of the penalty will vary depending on the circumstances. Taxpayers that file within 60 days are generally assessed a five percent penalty for each month the return is late. A filing that is more than 60 days late is subject to a $210 fine or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. This means your tax bill could double if you do not file promptly.

Those who owe taxes can view the balance online and choose the payment option that works best for their situation. This can include an installment agreement. An installment agreement is a way to pay off a large tax bill over a specified period of time by making smaller monthly payments.

Are there exceptions to the late-filing penalty? The IRS offers a few exceptions to the penalty. Those who have a history of paying their taxes on time can generally qualify. The IRS calls this the first-time penalty abatement.

Those who have good reason may also qualify for an exception to the penalty. The IRS recommends attaching an explanation of the reason to the return when it is filed.