What are the Penalties for Late Tax Filing?

This article was last edited on February 16, 2016. For updated information on filing late, read more here.

We know you’re out there. Yes, you, the taxpayer who owes the IRS and still hasn’t filed your tax return or requested an extension. Maybe you’ve put off filing your taxes for so long you’re in a panic and don’t know what to do. However, we’re here to tell you that you can still save money when you e-file, even though you will face penalties.

Here’s how. Go ahead and file your tax return, even though you’ve put it off until past the deadline because the penalties you already owe will increase if you don’t. E-file today and you can keep that from happening.

The IRS charges a failure-to-file penalty at 5 percent of the balance due on your taxes per month. Even letting just part of a month lapse will tack on 5 percent- so don’t wait. The increase can be as high as 25 percent of the balance you owe. That is money you will save if you e-file now. The minimum penalty for a return over 60 days late is the loss of $135 or the balance due.

The IRS also charges a failure-to-pay penalty at 0.5% per month plus a monthly interest charge. The penalty cannot be more than 25% of the unpaid tax.

The reality is that the tax deadline has passed and it is too late to file an extension. In order to save yourself some money and sanity, you should complete your return today and pay any tax due.

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