1040 and 1040A tax forms, two pencils, and a calculator

Tax Advisor: What If You Missed the Deadline on Your 2021 Tax Returns?


As we write this blog today, April 18-Tax Day 2022, has passed. The deadline to file for most US citizens is over. 

You read this and say, “I missed the deadline. Now, what do I do?” 

The good news is that if you missed filing on April 18, then you have options. All is not lost and no, there won’t be any black helicopters landing in your backyard. You can still file, so all is not lost.

In fact, here are some steps you can take that will resolve your tax filing deadline miss situation:

  1. If you owe money on your 2021 tax return and have not filed an extension: You should file your tax return as soon as possible. The IRS hands down two penalties if you owe: failure-to-file and a late payment penalty. Failure-to-file penalty applies when your return is late. It is five percent (5%) of your unpaid tax bill for each month or partial month your return is late. It maximizes to twenty-five percent (25%). The late payment penalty is 0.5% of your unpaid tax bill for each month or partial month your return is late, up to a total of 25%. The bottom line is that the quicker you get your tax returns filed after the deadline and pay your bill, after being late, the smaller the penalty you will have to pay. However, if you are unable to pay your tax bill in full, you can request the IRS to put you on an installment plan. It doesn’t erase your late penalties, but it will protect you from the IRS garnishing your wages. Just keep in mind, that the longer it takes for you to file your return, the greater the late payment penalty.
  2. If you don’t owe money for your 2021 tax returns: You may be due a refund from last year’s returns, but you missed the April 18 deadline, anyway. Believe it or not: You’re safe. You will not be penalized. You will have to wait longer to receive your tax refunds, though. Nevertheless, file your tax returns soon so you can get your money back.
  3. Missed deadline unknowingly: That’s okay, too. Just submit your return as soon as you can. Next year, if it looks like you may be filing your tax returns late again, ask for a tax extension by the filing deadline. *** You then have six more months to file your return. If you request the extension and still don’t get your return completed by the deadline, a late payment penalty will apply to any unpaid taxes from the current tax year. You won’t be charged with the aforementioned failure-to-file penalty as long as that extension request is made on time. And you don’t even have to give a reason to be granted an extension. The IRS doesn’t ask why you need more time to file. 

So, you see, it isn’t “Doomsday” after all. You do have options. Just be sure to act quickly to save yourself money and stress. 

AK Burton, PC, knows the current tax laws and how to work with the IRS. Our experienced tax preparers can file your business and personal tax returns and represent you to the IRS. Call us at (301) 365-1974 for a consultation. 

We serve the Bethesda, Rockville, and Montgomery County, MD area.

*** If you’d like more information on IRS Tax Return extensions, visit the IRS website.  

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