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What do you do if you forget to file your taxes?

| May 5, 2021 | IRS

It’s not uncommon for people to miss the tax-filing deadline, even though most people know when it is. They might miss it unintentionally or refuse to file for other reasons.

If you haven’t filed a tax return for the past year when you were supposed to, then you still need to do so. You can’t just ignore the year you missed in hopes that the Internal Revenue Services won’t notice. You’ll face significant problems if they realize what you did.

What happens if you forget or don’t file by the tax due date?

If you don’t file your taxes on time, then you could:

  • Face financial penalties for failing to pay your taxes.
  • Have to pay interest on any unpaid taxes.
  • Lose your right to a refund if you don’t file your return within three years of its due date (in most cases).

Criminal tax evasion charges may also be a reality that you face.

Should you still file your taxes if you can’t afford to pay?

Yes, you should file your taxes even if you can’t afford to pay what you owe. There are several options for paying any taxes that you owe, such as an IRS payment agreement, so there is no reason not to file. 

You can also ask for an extension if you need one, but you should note that the IRS will charge you interest on any taxes you don’t pay on time. Interest also applies to penalties assessed to your account.

If you have questions about filing your taxes or past taxes you forgot to file, an attorney can help. Our website has more on the steps you can take to correct this error or address the problem if the IRS has contacted you.