Late deadline means extra days to file taxes

Taxpayers have an extra three days to file their taxes.

Taxpayers have an extra three days to file their taxes.

The tax filing deadline is April 18 this year, giving taxpayers three extra days to file a return or apply for an extension and pay any tax due before those penalties kick in.

This year, the normal filing deadline of April 15 falls on a Saturday. Because Emancipation Day is observed in Washington, D.C. on the next business day, the deadline moves to Tuesday, April 18.

Taxpayers must either file a completed return or apply for an extension by April 18 and pay at least 90% of their tax liability to avoid penalties and interest.

The penalty for not filing a tax return is 10 times greater than the penalty for not paying in full. The best way to avoid this penalty, which could add up to 25% to a person’s tax bill, is to file a completed tax return or apply for an extension. However, an extension doesn’t apply to any payments due.

The penalty for not paying in full is 0.5% of the unpaid balance per month, with a maximum of 25%. The monthly penalty for not filing a tax return is 5% and is capped at a maximum of 25%. For example, for someone who owes $1,000, the failure-to-pay penalty starts at just $5 per month, but the penalty for failing to file a return starts at $50 per month.

If a taxpayer can’t pay the balance due all at once, he or she may request a short-term extension to pay, make an installment agreement or even pay with a credit card. In some instances, the taxpayer may qualify for an offer-in-compromise. By working with the IRS, taxpayers may reduce or eliminate their penalties.

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