April 15 has come and gone. If you didn’t file a tax return or an extension but should have, you need to take action now. Here are some tips for taxpayers who missed the tax filing deadline:
• File as soon as you can. If you owe taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can. This will stop the interest and penalties that you will owe. IRS Direct Pay offers you a free, secure and easy way to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account. There is no penalty for filing a late return if you are due a refund. The sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get it.
• IRS Free File is your best choice. Nearly everyone can use IRS Free File to e-file their federal taxes for free. If your income was $60,000 or less, you can use free brand-name tax software. If you made more than $60,000, use Free File Fillable Forms to e-file. This program uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms. It does some of the math and it works best for those who are used to doing their own taxes. Either way, you have a free option that you can only access on IRS.gov. It’s available at least through the Oct. 15 extension period.
• Use IRS e-file to do your taxes. No matter who prepares your tax return, you can use IRS e-file through Oct. 15. E-file is the easiest, safest and most accurate way to file your taxes. The IRS will confirm that it received your tax return. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
• Pay as much as you can. If you owe tax but can’t pay it in full, you should pay as much as you can when you file your tax return. IRS electronic payment options are the quickest and easiest way to pay your taxes. Pay the rest of the tax you still owe as soon as possible. Doing so will reduce future penalties and interest.
• Use the IRS.gov tool to pay over time. If you need more time to pay your tax, you can apply for an installment agreement with the IRS. The best way to apply is to use the IRS Online Payment Agreement tool. You can use the IRS.gov tool to set up a direct debit agreement. You don’t need to write and mail a check each month with a direct debit plan. If you don’t use the tool, you can use Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request to apply. You can get the form on IRS.gov/forms at any time.
• A refund may be waiting. If you are due a refund, you should file as soon as possible to get it. Even if you are not required to file, you may still get a refund. This could apply if you had taxes withheld from your wages or you qualify for certain tax credits. If you do not file your return within three years, you could lose your right to the refund.