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IRS: What happens if I file my taxes late?

The deadline to file has passed for most people.

IRS building

If you didn’t file for an extension penalties and interest could pile up.


How do I figure out how much I owe to the IRS in taxes?

Penalties and interest

The IRS advises to file your taxes as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Even though the deadline has passed, you can still submit your taxes. Read more about it here.

If you don’t owe taxes and are due a refund, you actually have a maximum of 3 years to claim it.

Failure to File penalty

If you filed for an extension before or on the deadline, you now have until October 17 to file your taxes. If you don’t you could face a Failure to File penalty. It is based on a percentage of the taxes that weren’t paid on time.

The IRS calculates your penalty based on how late your return was. The penalty is 5% per month and maxes out at 25% of your unpaid taxes.

If your tax return is more than 60 days late and you have an outstanding tax bill, you will receive a Failure to File penalty. It is at least $435 or 100% of the tax you were required to pay, whichever is lower.

Failure to Pay penalty

Even if you’ve filed on time, you could face a Failure to Pay penalty if you don’t pay by the due date or approved extended sue date. The penalty is 0.5% for each month that the bill is unpaid and maxes out at 25%. Interest will keep getting applied until you have paid the entire bill.

If you can’t pay on time but have arranged an approved payment plan the penalty is reduced to 0.25% per month during the agreement, plus interest.


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