- Days left
taxesI am one of the world's leading procrastinators. Last night I finished and hit "transmit" on my E-filed taxes at exactly 11:59 p.m. I had planned to do my taxes in February, of course, and then... all of the sudden it was April 15th, and it was nearly midnight. What some people do for an adrenaline rush, hmmm?

But in previous years I've done far worse. Last year I managed to get my Federal taxes to the post office by 11:56 p.m. on tax day... my Federal taxes for 2005. It wasn't until a few days later that I finished my Federal and state taxes for 2006, and my state taxes for 2005. So I know exactly what happens to a person who doesn't file her (or his) taxes on time.

Did you miss the deadline? Did you forget to file an extension, or just not get around to it? Are you, too, a tax delinquent? Firstly: take a deep breath. No one is going to throw you in prison for sending in your taxes a few days late. They won't even call or write, not for several months (and, if you haven't filed in previous years, they could never call or write, depending on whether or not you have had income reported to government agencies). If you manage to get them in a reasonable time frame (less than six months), you'll just be paying a small penalty and interest (if you owe taxes), as much as 4.5% and more if your taxes are more than 60 days late (at least $100, or a penalty equal to the whole amount you owe, whichever is smaller).

What if you're owed a refund?While it will be in your best interest to get your taxes in on April 15 (especially if you're due a rebate in the Economic Stimulus Plan -- if you haven't filed by the end of the week, chances are you won't get one at all), there is no need to fret. You could go several years without penalty, in fact, and if the IRS chooses, you could be paid interest on your refund when you do file (though they're only obligated to pay interest if the refund is delayed by some fault of the agency's).

If you're paying ridiculously late (as *cough* someone I know did in 2004, self-employed and badly underestimating her tax liability), the IRS will start asking you for money a few months after you file. You'll be given a chance to set up payment plans before they go to the extreme measure of attaching assets. If you owe back taxes, for instance, they'll be taken out of your Stimulus Package check.

What if you never file, even though you owe taxes? I haven't personally been in this situation, and many states are more eager to collect their money than the IRS is (or maybe they just have more staff). If you owe back taxes, you're more likely to be flagged than if you never have filed. And you can go to jail for failing to file taxes when you owe money, though the IRS is friendly to those who file "voluntarily" even if they can't pay right away.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Will Medicare/Medicaid be Impacted by ACA?

The Affordable Care Act put in place significant tax-related programs that impact Medicare and Medicaid, such as increased Medicare taxes on earned and unearned income for high-wage earners, and Medicaid changes that increase the number of insured individuals. Establishing whether you are affected by the ACA-imposed taxes, or are eligible for certain health programs that fall under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is determined by filing your income tax.

8 Things You Think Are Tax Deductible That Aren't

There?s a fine line between looking to save money on your taxes and taking deductions that will raise eyebrows at the Internal Revenue Service. Some taxpayers are tripped up by expenses that they assume are tax deductions, but don?t qualify under IRS guidelines. Here are a dozen items that can lead to unpleasant surprises in case of an audit.

Essential Tax Forms for the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also referred to as Obamacare, affects how millions of Americans will prepare their taxes in the new year. The law now includes penalties for all who haven?t obtained health insurance -- and those penalties are expected to be paid at tax time. The ACA also provides tax credits to help people pay for insurance, and you can claim those credits when you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has introduced a number of tax forms to accommodate the ACA.

How to Determine if You Have Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires most Americans to have health insurance that meets a government standard known as "minimum essential coverage," or MEC. Whether your insurance qualifies as MEC depends not on the plan itself, but on how you obtained your coverage.

What are 1095 Tax Forms for Health Care?

In 2014 the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, introduced three new tax forms relevant to individuals, employers and health insurance providers. They are forms 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. These forms help determine if you need to comply with the new shared responsibility payment, the fee you might have to pay if you don't have health insurance. For individuals who bought insurance through the health care marketplace, this information will help to determine whether you are able to receive an additional premium tax credit or have to pay some back.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum