April 15th was here and gone and you didn’t file your tax return. You’re not alone. Each year millions of people don’t file their return in time for the April 15th deadline. The reasons vary, but it’s important that you do file a return. Here’s a quick look at some of the consequences of not filing a return on time:
- You might get hit with a “failure to file” penalty. If you haven’t yet filed your return, it’s best to do so as soon as possible so you are in a better position to reduce the penalty.
- You could lose your refund or any credit for overpayment on estimated taxes. You won’t be hit with a “failure to file” penalty if you’re due to receive a refund, but wait too long to file and your refund could disappear altogether. There is a three-year window in most cases, but IRS rules regarding refunds and credits are subject to many “ifs” and “buts” so it’s best to file your return with the help of a qualified tax professional. They understand and research tax codes so you won’t have to.
- You won’t receive your Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Even if you aren’t otherwise required to file a return (if your income falls below the minimum required to file a return, for example) you won’t receive the credit unless you file a return.
If you didn’t file a return because you owe taxes, a qualified tax professional can help you file the late return and negotiate with the IRS regarding those taxes.
Unfiled returns can also hurt you if you are a college student or if your child is a college student; many federal and state grant programs are “need based” or based on income.
You or your qualified student could miss out on grants or other forms of aid if you don’t have a current tax return since the award amount is based on income from the most recent tax year.
Things happen. People get stressed. They have had a bad year, either emotionally or financially and things slip through the cracks, including tax returns.
If the thought of filing a past due return freaks you out, we have tax pros on staff who can help you file a late return. Give us a call at (888) 224-3004 or click on the white “Start Chat” button at the upper right-hand corner of any of our webpages.
Whatever you do, don’t let a tax return slide. Let us help you get back on track with your returns.