Whooo boy… one of my coworkers is in this boat. He had someone come into his house and help him get his home organized, and this included filing his paperwork. On April 15th he discovered he didn’t know where the person filed his tax information! The person was in Oregon and didn’t remember filing any tax paperwork, so my coworker ended up doing nothing that day, not even filing an extension!! I guess he didn’t know that he could have made an guesstimate of what he MIGHT owe, and that would have saved him failure-to-file penalties, interest and other penalties.
The IRS has a link right on their front page that tells you what you can do if you didn’t file.
Here’s what they say:
If you owe taxes and didn’t file your tax return or request an extension by the April 15 deadline, you may face interest on any unpaid federal taxes you owe and a failure-to-file penalty. The IRS will deny a request for an extension that is filed after midnight on April 15. However, you should still file your tax return, even if it’s late.
The failure-to-file penalty is 5 percent per month, or part of a month, of the balance due, up to a maximum of 25 percent. If the tax return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or the balance due, whichever is less.
Interest and penalties add to the total amount you owe. The sooner you file, even if you can’t pay all or some of the taxes due, the less you will owe.
More information about penalty and interest charges is contained in Chapter 1, Filing Information, of IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax.
If you’re in the same boat as my coworker, take a deep breath and get everything together as soon as you can. The quicker you get it in, the less you’ll have to pay in interest and penalties.
I sent my extension in on Monday the 13th, with an estimated payment as well as our first estimated taxes payment so I should be okay. Whew.
This tax stuff is just about near to driving me batty.
*Please remember I am not a tax professional. The information in this post is from my own personal experience and based on research for my personal situation.*