If you don’t like handling taxes, it’s understandable. You are not the only American who feels this way about it. However, it is not optional. Submitting your tax returns on time is essential. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specific deadlines that you should stick to, otherwise, there will be consequences. The consequences will vary depending on the type of deadline you miss. In this article, you will learn what to do if you miss an IRS deadline and what tax support programs are available.
Why You Should be Aware of the IRS Deadlines
The IRS has announced that there are around 1.5 million taxpayers who did not file their taxes for the 2018 tax year. To give you some context, the total tax refunds that were due was about $1.5 billion. The IRS has estimated the median refund amount at $813, meaning that 50% of refunds would be greater than this amount and 50% would be lower.
However, these people had only until April 18, 2022 (or April 19, in some states) to file their 2018 taxes. This deadline was set because, according to the law, there is a three-year timeframe for people to file their tax returns if they want to receive their tax refunds. Usually, this three-year term starts on the date the tax returns are due.
Even though the last chance for most people to file their taxes was the date mentioned above, the new deadline for people who requested an extension gave even more time. If they requested this extension, they were able to submit their tax returns for 2018 on October 17th, 2022. Typically, if you did not submit your 2018 tax return during the three-year time limit, the money would go to the United States Treasury. This means that you missed your chance to get a refund if you didn’t file your tax return before the deadline.
How to Handle an Overdue IRS Deadline
Generally speaking, it’s crucial to meet the IRS deadline. However, if you can’t do this for any reason, there will be consequences. Each IRS deadline has its own circumstances. In other words, what you should do if you miss a deadline depends on which one it was. In all cases, it’s better to ask a tax professional for help. They will tell you exactly what you need to do in your situation.
How to Get Assistance When Filing Taxes
What many people might not be aware of is that the IRS has a number of helpful programs and tools available for those who need assistance. Therefore, if you need help, you can take advantage of one of these programs. Here are some resources you can use if you’re having trouble getting your taxes in order:
- Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
Taxes might be hard to deal with, especially for seniors. For this reason, the IRS created the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). The IRS’ partners operate the system from their local sites. Workers at these sites include volunteers. These volunteers have passed the IRS’s requirements to be considered trusted tax advisors. They can effectively help participants and provide them with the necessary guidance.
This support program can help people over the age of 60. However, they need to meet other eligibility requirements in order to get assistance on elderly-related tax topics. These topics may include:
- Retirement planning
- Other similar types of support
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
The way this program works is similar to TCE with different objectives. This program is also available through the IRS but run by its partners. You will find that volunteers offer assistance to participants in this program, as well. However, the target group of people for this program is different. VITA aims to help those who aren’t fluent in English, are disabled, or usually earn a maximum of $60,000 annually.
The Fresh Start Program
Did you know that the tax debt in the US has reached about $527 billion now? This is a sign of how many people are dealing with tax debt in the US. What you might not know is that the IRS provides an actual opportunity for tax debt relief. The IRS’s Fresh Start program is a debt relief program available to those struggling with tax debt. You might mistakenly think that this is a single support program. In reality, this program includes 4 different assistance options. Here are the forms of assistance that you can get through this program:
- Penalty Abatement
- Offer in Compromise (OIC)
- Currently Non-Collectible (CNC)
- Installment Agreement (IA
This assistance option might call for a tax professional’s help. The application can be difficult to understand due to complex information, difficult terms, and even codes. Though, you might need a professional, don’t let that steer you away from this opportunity . Through Penalty Abatement , your irs fees can either be fully removed or at least lowered. The main goal of this assistance option is to help with penalties and hopefully make IRS fees easier to pay off, as you might have guessed from its title.
Offer in Compromise (OIC)
This option is so in-demand that the IRS usually accepts fewer than half of the applications every year. This is because it helps taxpayers with overdue taxes to resolve these tax issues for an amount that is lower than what they actually owe. If you want to take advantage of this option you should hire a tax professional. They can help you throughout the challenging application process of this program.
Currently Non-Collectible (CNC)
If you have built-up such massive tax bills that you can’t possibly repay, CNC might be an excellent option for you. With this support option, the government will stop collecting any tax debts from you. However, you need to meet the qualifying requirements to be able to benefit from this program.
In order for you to qualify, you will need to prove that you are financially unable to pay back your debt. Moreover, it’s a must that the IRS and your state recognize you. This can only happen if your monthly gross income is less than the national standard of allowable expenses.
Installment Agreement (IA)
An Installment Agreement (IA) is another great opportunity for people with huge tax debt. This option is excellent for taxpayers who can’t pay off their tax debt in a lump sum. Instead, they can pay back what they owe in installments if they choose to go with this assistance option. If you want to take advantage of this option, you will need to provide proof of the inability to pay off your tax debt in full. You will also need to show proof of the inability to get financing to repay debt as well as documentation that shows you are current on your tax returns.
It’s important to keep an eye out for the IRS deadlines. You might lose some good money from tax refunds if you don’t file your taxes on time. However, if you miss an IRS deadline, you should ask a tax professional for help. They will tell you what you should do depending on your particular situation. Besides, there are tax support programs available through the IRS, so make sure to check them out.
Aside from filing taxes, if you are struggling with tax debt, you should consider getting assistance. The IRS offers the Fresh Start Program to help people pay off their tax debt in easier ways. Who knows? You might end up paying way less than what you owe. That’s why you should review your options.