It’s tax time again! April 15, 2010 is the deadline for filing your taxes for 2009 … or is it? Well, the deadline for filing your 2009 taxes is April 15, 2010, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t file your tax return after that date. If you are not able to file your complete return for 2009 by that date then it’s very important to file for an extension( form 4868) and file your income tax return as soon as possible … even if you have an amount due and are unable to pay the tax owed.
Below is a list of common tax-filing questions
- What happens if I file a tax return after the filing deadline?
- What happens if I don’t file a tax return at all?
- How do I file an extension?
- Can I e-file after the April 15 deadline?
- What if I owe taxes but can’t pay by April 15?
- Can I file an amended tax return?
- What are some other special situations?
What happens if I file a tax return after the filing deadline?
If you are due a tax refund (money is owed to you), filing a late tax return will not result in a penalty. However, you definitely risk forfeiting your refund if you do not file the return within three years of the due date.
If you have a tax amount due (you owe taxes), the IRS or state tax authority will send you a bill assessing penalties and interest.
What happens if I don’t file a tax return at all?
The IRS will send you a letter requesting that an income tax return be filed, particularly if the IRS has W-2′s, 1099′s, or similar documents indicating that you had reportable income during the year. The IRS will then follow up with a tentative assessment of tax.
If you do not file the return within three years of the due date, and you are due a tax refund, the IRS may decide to keep your refund .
Can I e-file after the April 15 deadline?
Yes. You can e-file your 2009 return through October 15, 2010. After that date, you can no longer e-file. The IRS shuts down e-filing for the tax year, and you will need to file a conventional paper return.
You cannot “e-file” prior-year returns.
What if I owe taxes but can’t pay by April 15?
If you need more time, you can request four additional months by filing Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File by June 15. But when filing this form you must pay the tax owed. You have until Oct. 15 to file your tax return.
If you are out of the country on the tax filing due date for your return, you are allowed two extra months to file your return and pay the amount due without requesting an extension.
An out of the country taxpayer is defined as:
- You live outside of the United States and Puerto Rico and your main place of work is outside of the United States and Puerto Rico
- or you are in military or naval service outside of the United States or Puerto Rico
What are some other special situations?
- If you are claiming the Earned Income Credit (EIC), you must file a tax return to claim the credit.
- If you have not received Form W-2, or you believe your Form W-2 is incorrect, contact the IRS for a resolution.
If you do not file the return within three years of the due date:
If you cannot pay the amount of taxes owed, you should file your tax return anyway before the deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid additional penalties. The IRS will send you a bill or notice for the balance due. In some cases the IRS can offer alternative account resolutions if a taxpayer cannot pay in full with the return. See the IRS Web page Installment Agreements for more information.
If you are self-employed, you must file returns reporting self-employment income within three years of the original filing deadline in order to receive Social Security credits toward your retirement.