If you file your taxes after the deadline, you will be charged a late filing penalty by the IRS. Here are the basics of what will happen if you file your taxes late and how much of a penalty you will have to pay.

Filing an Extension

If you file an extension, you can get up to another six months to file your taxes. This means that with the normal deadline of April 15, you can get until October 15 to file your tax return for the year. In order to do this, you will need to fill out the Automatic Extension Form 4868. You can mail this form or you can complete it online. Whenever you are filing extension, you should realize that this is not an extension on the amount of time that you have to pay the IRS for your taxes. It is simply an extension on actually filing your taxes. Therefore, you should send any money that you think you are going to owe immediately. If you do not pay your taxes on April 15, you are going to be charged interest and a late payment penalty of .5 percent per month. If you wait to pay your taxes, this penalty and interest is going to add up significantly.

Late Filing

If you fail to file an extension or you still have not filed your taxes after the October 15 deadline, you are going to have to file your taxes late. This means that you are going to also be incurred a late filing penalty. Many people put off filing their taxes because they do not think that they will have the ability to pay them. The IRS would recommend that you go ahead and file your taxes regardless of your ability to pay for them. If you are past the deadline and you still have not file your taxes, you should most likely seek the assistance of a trained tax preparer. If you want to do it yourself, you can still file your taxes online through the IRS website.

Late Filing Penalty

If you choose to file your taxes late, you are going to be charged a late filing penalty. As of 2010, you will have to pay five percent for each month that you are past the deadline. This percentage is going to keep accumulating every month for a maximum of five months. After five months, this penalty stops accruing. 

Payment Options

If you file your taxes late and you cannot afford to pay the full amount that you owe at once, you have a few different options in front of you. For example, you could set up an installment agreement with the IRS. This will allow you to pay a partial amount of your taxes every month over an extended period of time instead of paying a lump sum. You might also submit an offer in compromise to them which would potentially allow you to pay less than what you owe.

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