The IRS can charge on two separate occasions: one for not filing a return and the other for not paying what you owe. There’s no possible way of ignoring your tax filing obligations but perhaps there are ways to minimize or avoid these penalties. The potential penalties and measures are included in the article below.

What Is the Penalty for Not Filing Taxes?

If you don’t file your tax return or ask for an extension by the due date—typically April 15—the IRS assesses a failure to file a penalty. The amount of your back taxes and how late you filed your return determine the penalty.

The IRS’s failure to file a penalty is 5% of your unpaid taxes for each month or partial month your tax return is late. However, it’s capped at 25% of your unpaid taxes.

What Is The Late Payment Penalty?

Another penalty applies for not paying the total tax bill you owe by the due date. The failure to pay penalty is 0.5% of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that you don’t pay your tax bill. Like the failure to file a penalty, the late payment penalty is capped at 25% of your unpaid taxes.

If both the failure to file and failure to pay penalties apply, the IRS reduces your failure to file the penalty by the failure to pay penalty.

How To Avoid A Failure To File Penalty

If taxpayers want to avoid a failure to file a penalty, it is recommended that they file their returns by the deadline date or fill out an IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return for an automatic 6-month extension.

If filing on time isn’t an option, file and pay the taxes due as soon as possible. Then look into penalty abatement.

Penalty abatement is the process of removing penalties for taxpayers who made a mistake or faced extenuating circumstances. There are two common reasons the IRS may consider penalty relief.

  • Reasonable cause: The IRS can agree to waive your penalties if you happen to not file on time but only if you have an excusable cause such as natural disasters, a family member’s death, etc.

  • First-time penalty abatement: If you’re normally on top of your filing responsibilities but missed the deadline for one reason or another, the IRS may allow a first-time penalty abatement.

Resolve Your Tax Bills

If you’ve found yourself in a nasty mess with the IRS, take a deep breath. For taxpayers who may have difficulty paying off an excessive amount of tax debt, there’s a new and improved relief program that consolidates many major relief programs into a one-size-fits-all assistance program. Any issues regarding back taxes, unfiled years, or any other tax-related problems may be solved through one program; the IRS Fresh Start Program!

How Simple Is Qualifying?

Considering that the Fresh Start Program is a federal program, you would think meeting the qualifications may be very difficult, but really, it’s a lot simpler and quicker than you think. Take the following steps in order to find out if you are eligible in as little as 3 minutes.

  1. Fill out some basic information about yourself and your back taxes here.
  2. Have a representative reach out to you to discuss your eligibility.
  3. Go through the enrollment process and finally reduce or eliminate your tax liabilities.