Did You Miss the October Tax Filing Deadline?

Let me check the calendar…there’s no way October 15th has come and gone! Man, is this year flying! October 15 is a black day in the souls of many, many men (that dramatic enough for you?). That’s the day that last minute filers who’ve already breezed through the original “last minute” date of April 17th this year without filing know: it’s The Big Day.



I Haven’t Paid Yet! Wasn’t My Money Due On the 15th?

Nope. Sadly, your money was due April 17th when you handed in that request for an extension. Forgot about the request, too? If you didn’t efile Form 4868, the automatic request for extension, you’ll have a few penalties:

- A penalty for failure to file. This penalty is 5% of the tax due per month late, up to a maximum of 25%. Ouch.

…but that’s not the only penalty. There’s also a separate one for the money you didn’t pay:

- A late payment penalty. This penalty is 0.5% for each month after the filing deadline that the tax isn’t paid. This amount, unlike the failure to file penalty, has no maximum.

If you don’t file OR pay, the late payment penalty is reduced by the failure to file penalty if both are due in the same month. The maximum amount in a month will be 5% (a reduced 4.5% for failure to file coupled with a 0.5% penalty for late payment).


What Exactly WAS Due on October 15th?

You must send in the correct paperwork for your financial situation to the IRS. Check the IRS website to determine the correct forms to file.

For more advice, check out our piece: Oops, I forgot to File My Taxes

Can I Receive Another Extension?

No. October 15th is the final day you can file without penalties.

What If I Can’t Afford To Pay My Taxes?

File anyway. First, your mom will be upset that you’ll be a wanted criminal (that was a joke…you’ll be breaking the law, but initially the sheriff won’t be sending a posse to your house….I think). Second, as I illustrated above, the penalty for not filing is more harmful (over the short term) than the failure to pay.


How Do I Calculate Penalties Due?

Don’t worry about that. In this instance the IRS has your back and will complete the helpful task of calculating the taxes on your behalf.


What Is My Best Course of Action Now?

1) File your taxes. Cut these penalties immediately.

2) Pay your taxes.

3) If you can’t pay in full, negotiate a payment plan if you owe less than $50,000. Use the IRS website Online Payment Agreement tool.


Owe a large tax you can’t pay? Read: How to Pay an Ugly Overdue Tax Bill


What if I Don’t Think I Owe the Tax at All?

1) Still file the correct form with the amount you think you owe to avoid failure to file penalties.

2) Attach a note detailing your concerns about the tax and why you don’t owe.

3) Complete a Collection Information Statement. You’ll need this form for any tax reduction to help prove you can’t pay the tax due.

4) Once you’ve heard back from the IRS, you’ll submit the Collection Information Statement and an offer-in-compromise form 656 with at least 20% of the tax due and a $150 application fee. (Low income filers may be able to waive the application fee.)


Photo: Tilemahos Efthimiadis


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Author: Average Joe

A 16 year veteran of the financial planning and financial media circus. Lover of hamburgers and ice cream.

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  1. It always amazes me that people take the extension and then wait til the last minute to file before 10/15. I know that some might have some extenuating circumstances, but come on…six more months?!? I agree that the first course of action is to take action. That will put you in their grace much more than just avoiding them.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Blogging Tips From a BeginnerMy Profile

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    • I agree. Generally, unless there are heavy K1′s involved, you probably don’t need that much time every year….and in my experience, it was always the same people.

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    • That’s crazy talk, Sean. What are you thinking?

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  2. There are always a lot of last minute filets even at 10/15. One of my partners always shut his door and did his return on the last day. He did need lots of partnership information that also got extended but it was always a last minute thing for him.
    Lance @ Money Life and More recently posted..October 2012 Monthly Goals UpdateMy Profile

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    • Some of that partnership info is difficult. I have one partnership that I’m in which is late every year. Luckily, they never show any income, so I go ahead and file without it. The IRS still hasn’t made a stink about me missing that info.

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  3. Great info for the procrastinators out there! I always file by the 15th. Sometimes on the 15th, but by the deadline nonetheless. I get frustrated that I owe them anything…I wouldn’t want to have to pay them essentially late fees, too.
    femmefrugality recently posted..Student Deals and DiscountsMy Profile

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  4. I always have one tax client who insts on filing on October 15th. He also doesn’t pay any estimated taxes, so he pays penalties every year. This year, he owed a TON more (you make more, you pay more, novel concept, huh?), and was upset about it. We 179′d a bunch a stuff to get his bill down, but he’s going to have to pay late payment penalties and interest. Good fun.

    Thanks for the reminder, and for the lazier of us out there, there is still some hope and a way to reduce the damage :)
    Jacob @ iheartbudgets recently posted..How To Assess The Effectiveness Of Your Savings AccountMy Profile

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  5. There must have been something up in the world, because I had a big rush last week. At least 5 people “dropped in” with their source docs in hand and the kicker was one woman who sent a pdf attachment to an email on SUNDAY night, then called Monday afternoon to see if it was done yet. It really makes me want to shake them to see if maybe I can jumpstart their brains a bit.
    Eric J. Nisall – DollarVersity recently posted..Prepaying Expenses May Not Be Your Best OptionMy Profile

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  6. I have a friend who didn’t file or pay taxes for 7 years. After she didn’t hear anything for the first year, she thought she was in the clear and didn’t file again and again. After 7 years they came after her with a vengence and drained her bank account more than once. She finally has filed everything and is making payments and is in negotiations to pay off in a lumb sum, but holy crap, just file and pay. It’s so much easier than having big brother watch you all the time. I know they do anyway, but at least I don’t see any signs of it.

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  7. I did not know that you could get an extension all the way to October 15th. That’s pretty insane in my opinion. With that being said, I’m sure there are a ton of people who wait until the (second) last day to file and send them in on the 15th.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Is a $10,000 Degree Possible?My Profile

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  8. And if you owe them money, the IRS has no issues just taking it. Unlike with other granishments where there’s a limit to what people can take (so you can afford to live), there are no limits on what the IRS can take. They can drain your bank account whenever they feel like it. The fact that you’d written your rent check the day before and it hadn’t cleared yet doesn’t matter to them. An inability to buy food- they don’t care.
    My brother (who should have fought his IRS issue, but that’s a whole other story) worked for a government contractor, but the IRS didn’t even look at setting up garnishment via his paycheck. They just randomly emptied his account. It got to the point that he had to create an emergency fund in an account in our mother’s name so that he could always pay for food, hoousing, and transportation.

    The lesson here- don’t mess with the IRS. Pay them. If you can’t pay them- talk to them and make a plan. Because otherwise they can and will ruin your financial life.
    shanendoah@the dog ate my wallet recently posted..Replacing an ApplianceMy Profile

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  9. I don’t miss filing quarterly taxes at all! One of the best things about working for a company is not having to worry about taxes. Luckily I’ve never owed money to the feds, but from what I’ve heard from friends/colleagues it’s a pretty scary situation.
    KK@Student Debt Survivor recently posted..Pets Are PriceyMy Profile

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  10. You had me panicking for a second thinking I forgot something. I feel like every over week I have some sort of tax form or payment to send in to the state but I did file and pay before April, thank goodness.
    Untemplater recently posted..The Risks Of Starting A BusinessMy Profile

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