Fact Finders: What if your taxes aren’t done?

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 5:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -Life happens. If you can’t make the tax deadline, the key is to do something. If you don’t file your taxes or an extension, you will be subject to penalties. That’s five percent each month on any unpaid taxes, capped at 25%.

But you don’t need to panic. First off, if you miss the deadline but are due a refund, there’s no penalty. However, if you don’t file within three years of today - you’ll forfeit any refund you’re due.

You have a couple of options. It’s not too late to get help online from sites like Turbotax and H&R block - do it yourself or get expert help for as little as $89.

In Arizona, taking the standard deduction is faster and often will save you more, anyway.

In some cases, the IRS might file a substitute tax return using forms like your W-2 or 1099. Then, you’ll have 90 days to submit your own return. Otherwise, you’ll be charged with what the IRS says you owe.

You can file an extension, which would give you until October 16th, but an economist from Arizona State University points out that’s quite a bit of work on its own. You’ll want to start by digging up last year’s return to see what you paid for 2021.

”Make sure that you have your estimated payments, withholding payments, throughout the year, along with your extension form - make sure you’re at least at that level,” said Dennis Hoffman of the Carey School of Business.

If you can’t pay what you owe, file as soon as you possibly can, and pay as much as you can to reduce any penalties. You may also qualify for an IRS payment plan to spread out your payments. If you owe taxes and you don’t pay, the late penalty is 0.5% of what you owe per month - plus interest.