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Missed the filing deadline?
Send in your tax return ASAP

I admit it. I didn't do much of anything yesterday. I was glad April 18 was over, even though I filed for an extension and will be working on our 1040 in the coming weeks.

Running-late-pic What about you? Did you get your return (or Form 4868 extension request) filed on Monday?


So what now?

Don't panic, but don't delay.

Penalty charges are adding up: Penalties and interest are accumulating as I type and you read.

The current IRS interest rate isn't so bad, but depending on how much you owe, the penalties could quickly add up.

You can put a stop to those ever-growing amounts by at least filing your return and paying what you owe as soon as possible. Yes, with the IRS it truly is better late than never.

If you don't have the money to pay your tax bill, at least file your return. The agency assesses two penalties, one for failure to file and another for failure to file.

The failure to file penalty is more severe than the failure to pay one. The IRS thinking in this regard seems to be that if Uncle Sam at least knows that you know you need to file, it can track you down to get the money eventually.

So send in a return.

And including a nominal amount of what you owe with your late 1040 will let the IRS know that you have good intentions regarding your overdue tax bill.

Payment options: A lot of folks ignore Tax Day because they owe and don't have the money to meet their tax obligations.

If you don't have enough room on your credit card to pay your tax bill with plastic, consider other options.

The IRS offers installment payment plans. For tax bills of less than $25,000 you can submit your application via the agency's Online Payment Agreement program.

Get help now: Perhaps you missed the April 18 tax deadline because your tax situation is out of control. You're frustrated, scared and just want to ignore your taxes.

Not a good idea.

Now is the time to find a tax professional to help you sort out your situation and get you in better standing with the IRS.

Yes, it will cost you, both in taxes (and penalties) you owe and the fee for professional tax help. But it's money well spent to get off of Uncle Sam's tax scofflaw list.

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