Washington, D.C. – Not filing a federal tax return can cost you – either by increasing what you owe the IRS or by causing you to miss out on a refund.
So, why didn’t you file? Maybe you thought you didn’t have to. Maybe you just kept putting it off and then forgot. Whatever the reason, it’s best to file your return as soon as possible.
Here are some things to consider:
- Penalties and Interest. If you owe taxes, a delay in filing will likely result in a late filing penalty as well as a late payment penalty, plus interest charges. The longer you wait, the more these charges grow.
- Losing Your Refund. There is no penalty for not filing if you’re due a refund. But you can’t get a refund without filing a tax return, and if you wait too long to file, you risk losing the refund altogether. The deadline for claiming refunds generally is three years after the return due date. For example, the last day for claiming a refund for your 2010 tax return will be April 15th, 2014.
- Earned Income Tax Credit. People who are entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit, a credit for lower-income workers, must file their return to claim the credit even if they’re not otherwise required to file. To get the credit, you’ve got to file.
Whether or not you must file a tax return will depend upon several factors, including your filing status, age, and income level.
For more information on how to file a tax return for a prior year, check with a reputable tax preparer, visit www.IRS.gov or call the IRS Tax Help Line for Individuals at 800.829.1040.