What Happens if You File Taxes Late? Here is the Good News and Bad

Just do it already. Reset your view on taxes if you think not filing a return is the best course of action for you. Why do you ask? If you file your taxes late, what will happen? 

The reality is, filing taxes late can have serious consequences, and what happens if you file taxes late largely depends on whether or not you owe the IRS money—or you're even required to file.

A tax return is an annual federal financial report that assembles and reports tax payments, tax deductions, credits, and income received for money earned during the prior calendar year (or tax year). Preparing your tax return can range from incredibly simple with a Form 1040 only listing your income, standard deduction, and pertinent personal information to extremely complicated with the need for hiring a tax professional

What is a Tax Return

Despite the scare tactics employed above (what can I say, I'm a CPA who knows you don't want to get on Uncle Sam's bad side), you might not even need to file a tax return to begin with. That's right. The IRS may not require you to file an individual tax return (Form 1040), depending on three specific criteria you must meet (usually): Your Age, Filing Status, and Gross Income.

Do I Need to File a Return?

First things first. You're going to get hit with penalties and interest. If you didn't expect that right off the bat, you don't know the federal government. The IRS will file a substitute return and won't fully capture your tax situation because you didn't give them the details to form one.

What Happens If You Don’t File Taxes?

People who are in a position to pay their taxes should make payments as they go. That means that you are showing people that you are acting in good faith to pay what you owe, and this will also lower the amount of money you would have to pay.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Pay My Tax Bill?

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