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Are you behind on filing your tax returns?

With tax season fast approaching the IRS would like to ensure you have the best information available to make informed decisions on tax matters as you prepare your 2010 income tax returns.

The failure to file a federal tax return can be costly — whether you end up owing more or missing out on a refund.

There are several reasons taxpayers don’t file their taxes. Perhaps you didn’t know you were required to file. Maybe, you just kept putting it off and simply forgot. Whatever the reason, it’s best to file your return as soon as possible. If you need help, even with a late return, the IRS is ready to assist you.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Penalties and Interest. If you owe taxes, a delay in filing may result in a late filing penalty, as well as a late payment penalty, and interest charges. The longer you delay, the more these charges grow.
  • Losing Your Refund. There is no penalty for failure to file if you are due a refund. However, you cannot obtain a refund without filing a tax return. If you wait too long to file, you may risk losing the refund altogether. The deadline for claiming refunds is three years after the return due date. For example, the last day for claiming a refund for your 2006 tax return will be April 15, 2010.
  • EITC. Individuals who are entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit must file their return to claim the credit even if they are not otherwise required to file.

Whether or not you must file a tax return will depend upon a number of factors, including your filing status, age, and gross income.

If your income was $49,000 or less, your local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center may be able to assist you in preparing your prior year return. You can locate your nearest center at http://www/irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html. For more information on how to file a tax return for a prior year, visit the IRS Web site at IRS.gov or call the IRS Tax Help Line for Individuals at 800-829-1040.


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