10 Ways to Avoid IRS Late-Filing Penalty


When it comes time to file your taxes, you might find yourself panicked, whether it is because you know you do not have the money to pay what you owe or simply because you are not ready to file. The key factor in all of this, however, is not avoiding that hard deadline of April 15 (unless it is a weekend) that is set by the IRS. No matter what you do, filing by that date is crucial.

In order to get you closer to meeting that deadline, here are 10 simple tips to get you on your way.

Take your Time
It can be common to rush when the clock is striking 12, but you do not provide the wrong information to the IRS, resulting in a late filing. Take your time to make sure that your name, social security number, address, and all numbers are properly reported. A mistake as simple as spelling your name wrong or putting the wrong digit in your social security number could make it look as if you never filed your taxes, resulting in high fees and a lot of headaches.

Double Check for Proper Signatures
Did everyone that is on the tax return sign it? Don’t forget the date too. This means that you and your spouse need to sign and date it. If you are filing electronically, the system will typically not let you file it unless you have obtained your pin number that is supplied by the IRS. Regardless of how you file, make sure it is done correctly to avoid it from being sent back to you.

Make sure you Supply all Forms
Preparing taxes can be confusing and overwhelming, which makes it very easy to overlook necessary forms when either filling them out or sending them into the IRS. Rather than running that risk, you can use automated software or a tax specialist to help you to ensure that the taxes are being filed correctly.

Find out your Options
Before you assume that you should just not file your tax (which is never the right option) consult with a tax resolution specialist to see what options you have. You might be surprised to realize the many solutions available to you, many of which are not readily made known to the average tax payer, but which the specialists are well aware of.

Use IRS Problem Solvers
If you are in a bind, whether it is because you cannot get your taxes completed on time or you cannot pay what you owe, use the services of IRS problem solvers. They know the legalities of taxes, deadlines, and how to work around them in a way that is most beneficial to you. This could mean a significant reduction in the penalties you owe as a result of not paying or filing your taxes on time.

Use your Legal Name
If you were recently married, you will need to file your taxes according to the way the government knows you. If you did not have your social security card switched over to your married name yet, then your taxes need to be filed in your maiden name. If you submit them under your married name, they could get kicked back to you as if you never filed them. This means you need to plan accordingly, either change your name plenty early before tax season, or wait until afterwards and file under your maiden name this year.

Report all Earnings
Remember that you need to report all earnings, even those not earned as a W-2 employee. The IRS will catch up with you if you neglect to file 1099 income or any other income that you made. It is best to include it now and pay what you owe rather than risking the hefty fines that will result down the road.

File with the Correct Status
If you are married, you have two choices: married filing jointly or married filing separately. But you also have to consider when it is appropriate to file for head of household or how you claim dependents, if you are in a divorced or other unique situation where dependents can be claimed by someone else.

File an Extension
Form 4868 is a form that allows you an extension from the tax filing date of April 15. This form allows you not only to file late, but also to avoid the preposterous fees that the IRS charges, which starts at 5% per month of the unpaid taxes that your taxes are not filed, but can go up to 25%.

Ask the IRS for Help
If you are thinking of filing your taxes late simply because you cannot afford them – don’t do it. The IRS would prefer that you filed your taxes and then worked out the payment details. Remember that tax relief experts can help you navigate all of your choices to ensure that you avoid the penalties that are avoidable.

These 10 tips are meant to help you avoid those large late filing penalties that the IRS charges. Remember that the penalty to pay late is just a fraction of what it is for late filing, which shows the importance of filing your taxes on time with the IRS.

Please share this article within your social media circles to spread the word about the importance of filing your taxes on time.

Zara Jones
Zara Jones is an active independent contributor who loves to share useful insights or updates on various topics and brings great information to her readers.