How To Prepare When Filing Your Taxes Late

Filing your tax returns before the IRS deadline is the goal, but for many different reasons, it does not always happen. The IRS provides a route for citizens to file their returns even after the deadline. However, certain guidelines must be followed. Whether you have a single year of late tax returns or multiple years, learn more about what steps you need to take.

Notify the IRS

Once you realize you have missed the deadline, you must notify the IRS immediately. The deadline is the date that all citizens are expected to file, but the IRS will also grant extensions by request in certain situations. Not only does it serve as notice to the IRS that you are not attempting to avoid filing, but it can also help you avoid a late filing fee if you file by the new deadline issued with the extension.

Sort Through Documents

Your tax return being filed late does not change the format of the return process in that you will still be required to submit the return using supporting documents. Once you know you are ready to file, collect any income statements, mortgage interest records, or other financial data you have. If you plan to file for tax credits, you will also need supporting documents, such as a tax form from a childcare provider, to file for the child-dependent care credit. 

Speak with a Professional

The extension granted by the IRS is months, not years, so you must act fast. You want to sit with a tax preparation professional to get the process in motion. A tax professional can help you determine what returns you need to file, what additional documentation you might need, and ensure the returns you submit are accurate to avoid further delay. These professionals can also review your situation to see if you qualify for an extended extension. 

Set Aside Cash

If you know you will have a balance due once your returns are filed, setting aside some cash for payment is a good idea. The IRS provides a pathway for citizens who cannot pay their taxes in full. However, the fact that you are filing late could mean additional penalties and interest have been added to your balance. The more you pay upfront, the more the IRS will be willing to work with you, and the lower your installment agreement payments. 

Do not underestimate your need for assistance if you have found yourself in this scenario. A trained tax preparation professional can help you sort through the matter and get your returns filed. 

For more information, contact a local company, like Taxes- The Balance Sheet.