What to Do if You Didn’t File a Tax Return

Real estate agent with house model and keys

Often, people procrastinate filing their taxes and end up missing the deadline. Sometimes people who miss filing their taxes for one year end up not filing for the next year because they fear the consequences of their previous year would reflect. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s what to do if you didn’t file a tax return.

If you didn’t file a tax return in the previous year or you haven’t been filing for a while, the best thing to do is to file as soon as possible. If you’re unsure of whether you should file a federal tax return or a tax refund, you can use this IRS tool to determine which to do.

When using the tool, you’ll need to provide information on your filing status, federal income tax withheld, and basic details to help determine your gross income. It would help if you had all this ready so that you don’t waste time completing the interview, as you will be forced to start over after about 15 minutes of inactivity.

Note that this tool will only work if throughout the entire tax year you’re inquiring for, you were a resident alien, or if you’re a U.S citizen, and this includes your spouse if you are filing as a married couple.

What to Do if You’re Unable to Pay Your Tax in Full

If at the end of the short interview, you realize you’re required to file and owe a balance, don’t be discouraged. The IRS may be able to assist you by setting up a payment agreement to make things easier for you. Visit this IRS link to learn about the various payment agreement options you may have. These payment agreements include deadline extension and monthly payments.

You may also be eligible for the coronavirus tax relief and economic impact payment, which are ways the IRS offer tax help to taxpayers affected by the pandemic. Such payments are usually sent without making an application unless you need to provide additional details to the IRS.

There are many reasons why a person may fail to file a tax return, but whichever the case is, it’s always best to file as soon as you can. Although you may be required to pay interest and monthly late penalty on any amount you owe after the due date, you also get penalized for not filing a tax return at all.

So, irrespective of how much you will owe, you should still file your tax return so that your penalties and interests don’t get out of hand.

Remember that you can take a short interview on the IRS website to determine if you need to file a tax return and if you happen to be unable to pay your tax in full, you could check out the different payment agreement options to see which may the best for you.