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Tax Tip Tuesday: What to do if you haven't filed yet

If you know you're not going to make it by the April 18 deadline, here's what you can --file for an extension
If you know you're not going to make it by the April 18 deadline, file for an extension.
Posted at 6:34 AM, Apr 18, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — April 18 is Tax Day.

But if you haven’t filed your taxes yet, do not panic.

You have until 11:59 pm on April 18 to file electronically.

If you're filing by paper, it has to be postmarked April 18 or else it will be considered a late return.

If you know you're not going to make it by the April 18 deadline, here's what you can --file for an extension.

This will give you until October 16 to file your return.

Filing for extension will help you avoid the Failure to File Penalty, which is 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of the month they are late.

You can use IRS Free File to request an extension.

It’s free and you’re good until October 16 if you have a refund coming your way.

However, if you owe the government you do need to pay by April 18 or you could face a Failure to Pay penalty.

The Failure to Pay Penalty is 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month the tax remains unpaid. The penalty won’t exceed 25% of your unpaid taxes.

Stacy Engle, an IRS spokesperson based in Indianapolis, said you should pay what you can by April 18.

“A lot of people can assume what they are going to owe based on last year's estimates and that's how we suggest people make a payment,” said Engle. “You can wait and not make a payment at all, but paying something eliminates the Failure to File Penalty which is the largest penalty we can assess. And then there are payment options for people who can't full pay anything."

Filing for an extension is more common that you might think—12 percent of filers request an extension, or about 19 million nationwide.

The IRS says this tax season was different because they hired a lot of workers to answer phones, plus, pandemic relief ended so a lot of taxpayers ended up with smaller refunds.