I Can’t Pay My Taxes Should I File A Tax Return?
Don’t panic. If you cannot pay the full amount of taxes you owe, you should still file your return by the deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest.
You should contact the IRS to discuss your payment options. The agency may be able to provide some relief such as a short-term extension to pay, an installment agreement or an offer in compromise, or by temporarily delaying collection by reporting your account as currently not collectible until you are able to pay. In some cases, the agency may be able to waive penalties.
If you find yourself with a tax bill instead of a refund, it’s important to take it seriously. Failure to pay can damage your credit score, cost you interest and additional penalties and in some cases lead to criminal prosecution. Here are some tips to help make the best of a bad situation.
File Your Tax Return
If you owe the government money, be proactive. You cannot ignore the situation. If you don’t file a tax return and owe taxes, you could be subject to the failure-to-file penalty. These penalties could cost you another five percent of your unpaid tax bill each month it goes unpaid. If you do file but don’t pay, the IRS will enact a much smaller penalty of 0.5 percent on what you owe each month until you pay in full.
You may not be able to pay in full, but you can try to negotiate a payment plan. The IRS wants you to pay and will work with you to do so. If you are a qualified taxpayer or authorized representative (Power of Attorney) you can apply for a payment plan (including installment agreement) online to pay off your balance over time. In some situations, you may be eligible for an offer in compromise which allows you to pay less than you owe if you meet certain qualifications and circumstances. If the IRS determines you cannot pay any of your debt, it can temporarily delay collection of your payment until your financial situation improves.
Instead of simply avoiding or ignoring a tax problem – talk to a tax attorney to find a solution.