Not Ready to File

Today TaxMama  wants to give you a nudge to file that tax return – even if you owe money!

Dear Family,

Tomorrow is October 15th. It is the final filing deadline for the 2009 tax returns. For tax professionals, that day is like a finely tuned athlete sprinting the last few yards for the finish line.

That last, final burst of effort – and we’ve made it! Some taxpayers may feel the same way. Hoooraay!

You might be dreading that deadline because you know. Once you file that tax return IRS and/or your state will know how much you owe – and will start hounding you for the money.

Or you’re overwhelmed and just don’t think you can get everything together in time.

You’re considering not filing that tax return – and perhaps that will delay the problem.


Even if you can’t get it 100% right, file with your best guesstimate of the numbers. You have three years to amend it and fix the tax return, once you can sit down calmly and get all the accounting done, or gather the missing data.

Why am I so adamant?

At this very moment, the non-filing penalty is 25% of the balance due – plus 4% per year interest on the penalty.
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The minute October 16th dawns, you will owe 27% on that balance due – just because you couldn’t afford to pay it.

Suppose you owe $3,000 – you’ve just added an extra $810 to the bill. Imagine if you owe $10,000 – you’ve just wasted $2,700 – and it won’t go away.

If you file the tax return on time, you’ll only owe the taxes, plus a half of one percent per month penalty, plus a little interest. The late payment penalty can even be reduced to a quarter of 1 percent if you are on an installment agreement.

Installment agreements are so easy to get, you can even set them up yourself, using IRS’ online payment agreement (OPA), when your balance is $25,000 or less.

You have options – as long as you file that tax return.
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So, please, DO file on time.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about not filing a tax return. and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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