How to Handle Missing the Tax Deadline: Options and Strategies for Late Filers

The deadline for filing federal income tax returns has passed, but if you missed the April 15 deadline, there are still ways to get them filed and minimize any potential penalties.


Stay Calm

First things first: stay calm and act quickly. Missing the tax day deadline isn't ideal, but it's not the end of the world either. If you're due a refund, there might not be any penalty for filing late. However, if you owe taxes, penalties and interest may come into play.

If you suspect you owe taxes, it's crucial to file as soon as possible. You can get a rough estimate by checking last year's return for any significant changes. Delaying further can lead to more penalties and interest.



The failure-to-file penalty is the most severe, typically 5% of the total amount owed each month your return is late, up to 25%. If your return is over 60 days late, the minimum penalty jumps to $435 unless your balance due is less than that.


File an Extension

Considering filing an extension? If you expect a refund but need more time to gather documents, filing an extension could be your best bet. It's a straightforward process and grants an extra six months to file. Just remember, it doesn't extend the time to pay any taxes you owe.

What if you owe and need more time to pay? Don't panic. Pay as much as you can to reduce penalties and interest. The IRS offers payment plans if you can't cover the full amount. A short-term plan lets you pay off the balance in 180 days or less, while a long-term plan gives you more time but with higher fees and penalties.


It's Not the End of the World

Although missing the tax deadline can be stressful, taking prompt action is key to avoiding further complications. Stay organized, make use of IRS resources, and seek professional assistance if needed to navigate the process effectively. Morris and Associates are experts when it comes to helping individuals and companies find tax relief in Georgia but can help no matter where you live or whatever tax questions you have. Contact us to help with your taxes and possibly even reduce the amount that you owe.