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The deadline for filing your taxes is right around the corner. If you are like me, and have already done your taxes, then there isnít much to worry about. But what happens if you miss the tax deadline? Here are important steps that you need to take, and some implications if you donít take those steps.
What happens if I miss the tax deadline?Missing the tax deadline isnít the end of the world. Contrary to public belief the IRS isnít waiting to bust down your door and throw you in cuffs the minute the deadline passes. They understand that life happens, and you may not be able to file on time. With that said, they donít take kindly to people just ignoring their tax obligations. If you do miss the tax deadline, there are steps you can take to show good faith.
First, file for a tax deadline extension before April 15th (or as soon as possible.) When you do this, it allows you to push back your filing deadline to Oct. 15th, so you can get your taxes in order and get square with the IRS. There are a couple of different ways to for file an extension.
Second, even though you've filled out the form and filed for an extension, you are still obligated to pay any taxes owed by April 15th. Failing to send in the taxes that you owe can cause you to incur penalties and fines. To avoid this, use the estimated taxes from your extension form and get those funds to the IRS as soon as possible. They make it pretty easy by letting you pay via a debit or credit card. Once you do these two things, the IRS is happy to give you an extra 6 months to figure out your taxes.
What happens if I don't file an extension and ignore my filing my taxes?Let me just start are by saying that no one avoids the tax man. Not even Al Capone or Wesley Snipes (who just got out of jail for tax evasion). This is when the ugly side of the IRS comes out, and it's not something you want to experience. They'll give you a beat down with a mix of penalties, incurred interest, and even jail time! What penalties and interest you ask?
This is the tax man that you don't want to tangle with. Do yourself a favor, and take steps above to file an extension. This way they know you are going to file and pay, but it will miss the deadline.
What happens if I can't pay my taxes?If you are honest with the IRS, they are actually not bad to deal with. You still need to file your taxes, and ask for an extension. This will let them know you are having issues and that you are trying to resolve the issue. There are a couple of things that can happen from here.
So what have we learned today? Well, the tax man isn't the faceless evil entity that is waiting to eat your soul for filing your taxes late. He is willing to work with you and make sure you have as many options as possible to fulfill your tax obligations. However; if you thumb your nose at him, he is not opposed to taking your toys and making you cry. :)
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