You Missed the Tax Deadline. Now What Should You Do?

Yesterday was the federal tax deadline for almost everyone in the US. (Massachusetts and Maine, you've still got today to finish.) If you didn't electronically file your tax return or have a paper return postmarked by midnight April 18, your taxes are now technically late.

There are plenty of reasons why people might not be able to finish and file their tax returns by the deadline -- missing tax info, medical emergencies, family troubles, unexpected travel… you know, life.

Yes, you should have filed a tax extension. But what to do now that your tax return is late? Whether you owe taxes or are expecting a tax refund, the answer is simple -- complete and file your 2021 tax return as soon as possible. 

However, if you owe money, your situation becomes more urgent. The longer you wait to file your tax return and show the IRS you intend to pay what you owe, the more penalties and interest may pile up.

Read on to learn more about how to handle a late tax payment, including information on penalties, interest and payment plans. For more, find the best software for filing your tax return and learn how to track your refund to your bank account or mailbox after you do.  

If you're expecting money back from the IRS from your 2021 tax return, there are no penalties for filing late. In fact, you have three years to file your 2021 tax return before the IRS turns your tax refund over to the Treasury and your money is gone forever.

Your tax refund might be slightly delayed by filing late, but you should still expect to receive your money in four to six weeks.

You could be making good use of the money the IRS owes you, and the longer you wait to file your taxes, the more you lose out. Whether you use your tax refund to pay down a credit card debt, start an emergency fund, make investments or even just treat yourself to a nice dinner or vacation (depending on your refund amount), you want your money as soon as possible. Letting the IRS keep your tax refund longer only deprives you of possible interest and spending power.

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