Didn’t Pay Your Taxes? Here’s What To Do

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated February 2, 2021

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SoFi Review
May 12, 2017

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Ideally, you should pay your taxes on or before the date established the IRS Federal Tax Calendar. For 2017, individuals had until April 18 to submit their completed tax forms and payments. Unfortunately, not everyone pays their taxes on time. If you still haven’t paid, follow these directions to satisfy the IRS.

The IRS takes tax deadlines seriously, but it’s not going to have you arrested for missing a due date. It will, however, charge you a late payment fee. Paying sooner means that you face a lower fee.

The IRS uses several factors to determine penalties. Typically, late filers pay a penalty between one percent and five percent of their unpaid taxes. The fee can reach 25% for people who fail to pay within six months.

Go ahead and complete your tax documents as soon as possible. Using the E-File system is the fastest way to process your tax returns, which one of the best tax services can help you do, most for free. You have until October 16, 2017, to use E-File. Since your fees grow a little each day, you should submit forms sooner.

If E-File isn’t an option for you, complete your documents, write a check for the amount you owe and send everything to the United States Treasury.

If you cannot pay your federal taxes, try to contribute at least 90 percent of the amount you owe. Showing an effort will encourage the IRS to waive any fees. If you can’t afford to pay anything, then send your tax documents. Doing so will minimize your fine.

Assuming that you owe less than $50,000, the IRS will probably let you sign an online payment agreement that lets you spread payments out over several months. If you owe up to $100,000, you may qualify for a short-term agreement.

Trying to hide from the IRS will not work. Eventually, someone will notice that you didn’t pay your taxes. Contacting the IRS now shows that you plan to pay what you owe. More likely than not, the IRS will help you make a payment plan.

Some people and businesses discover that they cannot pay their taxes. If you are in this position, you may need help from a tax debt settlement service like CuraDebt. Tax debt settlement services work with the IRS to eliminate outstanding debts. A good negotiator could help you save a considerable amount of money.

The IRS has much bigger concerns than whether you paid your taxes on time. As long as you cooperate and make an honest commitment to pay, you can put this unfortunate period behind you within a few months.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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