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File and Pay Your Taxes on Time to Avoid Penalties

Tax day is right around the corner! You are required to file your tax return and pay any taxes due by April 17, 2018. If you don't do both of these things, you could face stiff financial penalties or legal action. 

Can I Get an Extension to File?

If you don't have all of your information ready and are not able to file your tax return by April 17, you can request a six-month extension to file. You don't have to give a reason or provide any documentation—you just have to make the request to the IRS (and get confirmation that your request was received) before midnight on April 17.

However, if you don't file and you don't request an extension, the IRS will consider your tax return to be late. This means you may be assessed a "failure to file" penalty.

The important thing to remember is that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. You still need to pay your estimated tax due on or before April 17 of this year. Then, when you file your taxes later, you simply account for the amount you already paid. If you happened to over-estimate your tax liability, you can request a refund. If you underpaid, you may have to deal with a late payment penalty applied to the amount of the underpayment.

What If I Can't Pay Now?

Many people who end up with tax debt find themselves in that situation because they weren't able to pay their outstanding tax liability on or before the due date. Even if you can't pay, though, you should still file! That way, you will at least avoid the late filing penalty.

The IRS also offers a number of payment options for settling your tax liability over time. It's your responsibility, however, to request these options. Typically, if the IRS can see that you're making an effort to pay your outstanding tax debt, the late payment penalties they apply will be less painful! 

For help navigating tax filing deadlines, extensions, and payment options, call the team at Taxation Solutions, Inc. today. We are available to provide tax planning and tax resolution services in Arlington and the surrounding area.