Late Filing and Non-Filing of Tax Return

If you were not able to file taxes before the April 15 deadline, and you also failed to file an extension, then the IRS might file a substitute tax return on your behalf. The non-filing of your tax return can lead to tax debt and the threat of IRS collection actions. On the other hand, if you filed for an extension, the IRS cannot initiate collection actions until the deadline of the extension expires.

Late Filing

With or without an extension to file, you must not wait to file your tax return even if you cannot fulfill your entire tax debt. File your tax return and pay as much as you can afford to at the present. The remaining balance can be paid later in installments. You may also qualify for a reduction in the balance to be paid or even postpone payment till you can afford to pay the balance. You can look up IRS payment plans to choose a plan that suits your tax case.

Filing taxes late will result in higher tax debt because of the penalties and interest the IRS charges on the unpaid balance. Your tax bill will increase every month due to penalties and interest charged on it. It is vital to note that any amount of taxes that remain to be paid after the filing deadline will keep attracting penalties and interest. This is true even when you are making payments to pay the tax debt or have filed for an extension to file. Therefore, paying more and paying early is most beneficial.


If you do not file your taxes and have not file for an extension, to begin collection actions, the IRS will file a substitute tax return to determine your tax liability. The IRS does not include expenses or deductions that you qualify for when calculating your tax bill. The estimated tax amount is included in the notices the IRS will send to you regarding the payment of tax debt.

If you ignore the IRS notices, their estimation of your tax liability may be considered final. You can file your own tax return even after the IRS has filed a substitute tax return. Calculate your tax amount, file your tax return, and contact the IRS to get your tax bill amount corrected, if you actually owe less than what the IRS has estimated.

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