Last April, the tax deadline was staring you in the face and you just weren’t ready. You kept calm and filed an extension that gave you leeway until the October 15th deadline. You may not still be ready for whatever reason. Here are some important facts about the October 15th deadline.
Q: I’m not going to make the October 15th deadline. Can I still file my return?
A: Great news! You can still file your return after the deadline. However, you won’t be able to file online. You’ll need to file your return by mail. Send the return via certified mail with a return receipt to be on the safe side. If there is ever a question as to whether or not the IRS received your return, you have proof that is was in fact received by them. Whew! Now they can take it up with their in-house staff.
Q: What is going to happen to my refund? Will I still get it or will the IRS withhold it because I filed late?
A: The good news is that you will still get the full amount of your refund from the IRS. However, it will take a few weeks for you to get the refund since you had to file by mail. It can take up to 8-12 weeks to get your refund.
Q: What about penalties if I owe taxes?
A: Here’s where it can get a little tough, especially if you’re on a tight budget to begin with: You will end up owing an additional 5 percent of the balance due, under the failure to file penalty or late filing penalty. You also may have to pay an extra 0.5 percent of your balance due for each month that your taxes were unpaid. You will essentially pay two penalties in the end: one for late filing and one for late payment of your taxes.
The thought of missing the extended deadline can be stressful. By filing your return as soon as you can after the deadline and by understanding the penalties involved if you owe taxes, you will have a clearer idea of the consequences of filing past the extended deadline. At the same time, if you are entitled to a refund, you will receive the full amount with no penalties deducted for filing a late return.