Taxpayers who still haven’t filed their 2018 tax return should do so ASAP

While the federal income tax-filing deadline has passed for most people, some taxpayers did not file an extension and still have not filed their tax returns. These taxpayers should file ASAP. They should do so even if they can’t pay to avoid potential penalties and interest, which can continue to add up quickly.

Here are some things taxpayers in this situation should know:

  • Penalties and interest are only added on unfiled returns if the taxpayer did not pay taxes by the April deadline. Taxpayers who did not file and owe tax should file a tax return and pay as much as they are able to now. If they cannot pay the full amount, they should learn about payment options. These can reduce possible penalties and interest added to the amount the taxpayer owes.

  • Some taxpayers may have extra time to file their tax returns and pay any taxes due. These include:
      o Some disaster victims 
      o Military service members and eligible support personnel in combat zones 
      o U.S. citizens and resident aliens who live and work outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico

  • If a return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date, the minimum penalty is either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. Therefore, if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more than $210, the penalty is at least $210.

  • The IRS provided penalty relief for certain taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year.

  • Other taxpayers filing after the deadline may also qualify for penalty relief. Those who are charged a penalty may contact the IRS and explain why they were unable to file and pay by the due date.

  • Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify for first-time penalty abatement.

  • There is no penalty for filing late if a refund is due.