Each year, many of you just don’t get around to filing that durned tax return. Even more of you don’t have the money to send in when you owe a little bit.

How bad can it be?

Part of the bad is that you know that this obligation is hanging out there, waiting for an inopportune moment to tag you.

As with anything, missing a deadline involves penalties. Remember when you used to find that DVD from Blockbuster four weeks after it should have been turned back in?

There’s the penalty for not filing - from the IRS website “Eight Facts about Penalties for Filing and Paying Late“:

The failure-to-file penalty is usually much more than the failure-to-pay penalty. In most cases, it’s 10 times more, so if you can’t pay what you owe by the due date, you should still file your tax return on time and pay as much as you can. You should try other options to pay, such as getting a loan or paying by credit card. The IRS will work with you to help you resolve your tax debt. Most people can set up a payment plan with the IRS using the Online Payment Agreement tool on IRS.gov.

The failure-to-file penalty is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. It will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.

If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty for late filing is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax

So, not filing is BAD. Epic in its badness.

In fact, there are only two ways you can be put into Federal custody by the IRS - fraud (lying on your tax return, claiming deductions you didn’t have, not reporting income, helping others avoid taxes) and NOT FILING.

The sixty day clock is ticking away. Get ‘er done. Oh, wait - that’s probably trademarked, isn’t it?

The clock is ticking, so stop procrastinating! Call me (or someone, although the Blockheads will be closing all of their offices by this weekend).

What about those pesky unpaid taxes, though?

The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5 percent per month of your unpaid taxes. It applies for each month or part of a month your taxes remain unpaid and starts accruing the day after taxes are due. It can build up to as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes

You can make an arrangement to pay your unpaid taxes online, without having to talk to anyone or fill out a financial statement, as long as your repayment plan is for fewer than six years, for less than $50,000 and if you allow the IRS to withdraw the payments directly from your bank account through ACH transfer.

Ask me how to make that happen for yourself - and give yourself some (wait, that phrase is trademarked too!) Let the tax therapist (me) bring you some sanity!


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