There are many times that taxpayers fail to file their tax returns. Sometimes it’s because they did not think they had to, sometimes they forgot, and sometimes they just had bad advice.
The IRS provides much guidance on the subject. Have you filed your federal income tax return for this year or previous years? If not, let the IRS help you get back on track. You can find help & resources, such as the Interactive Tax Assistant, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, and Tax Trails, on IRS.gov.
Not sure if you’re required to file a return? Find out using Do I Need to File a Tax Return? or refer to Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals. You can download and view Publication 17 on most e-Readers and other mobile devices as an eBook from IRS.gov/forms.
It’s important to file an accurate return for several reasons:
- You may be eligible for a tax credit or deduction. The Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and Education Credits help millions of taxpayers and their families every year.
- Loan approvals may be delayed if you haven’t filed your return. For example, financial institutions and mortgage lenders may require income verification that includes copies of filed tax returns submitted when you buy or refinance a home, get a loan for a business, or apply for federal aid for higher education.
- If advance payments of the Premium Tax Credit were paid on behalf of you or an individual in your family in 2014, and you do not file a 2014 tax return, you will not be eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reductions to help pay for your Marketplace health insurance coverage in 2016. This means you will be responsible for the full cost of your monthly premiums and all covered services. In addition, the IRS may contact you to pay back some or all of the 2014 advance payments of the premium tax credit.
- If you owe taxes and have not filed a timely return, you may be subject to the failure to file penalty, unless you can show reasonable cause for failing to file timely.
- If you did not pay your tax in full by the due date of the return, you may also be subject to the failure to pay penalty, unless you have reasonable cause for your failure to pay timely, or the IRS has approved your Application for Extension of Time for Payment of Tax Due to Undue Hardship. Interest is charged on taxes and penalties not paid by the due date, even if you have an extension of time to file.
- If you are required to file a return, but you cannot pay all of the tax due on your return, we may be able to help you establish a payment agreement. Go to IRS.gov/payments for additional information on tax payment options.
Below are helpful resources about filing a tax return on IRS.gov:
- What to do if you haven’t filed your tax return — Tax Topic 153