It's Tax Day: What happens if you're not ready?

Posted at 6:56 AM, Apr 18, 2017



It's tax day and the deadline to get your tax forms and payments into the mail for Uncle Sam. We have important information about what happens if you're just not ready.

Usually, Tax Day is April 15th, but because it fell on the weekend and there’s a Washington, D.C. holiday, you get a couple extra days.

"(People) need to keep in mind that they shouldn't panic, number one," said Willie Schuette who is a Financial Advisor from the JL Smith Group. He said you have options.

The first thing you should do is download form 4868 form the IRS website. It's an easy form, fill it out, and send it in. That allows you 6 more months to prepare your taxes. Just be aware that there’s a penalty. "You're going to be charged a half-percent each month of interest on the balance that you owe,” explained Schuette. But that's a lot better than what will happen if you don't file for an extension. "That's 5% per month…it's big so, obviously, they're doing it to encourage you to file the extension."

Schuette told us there are quite a few people who don't file their taxes because they are owed money from the government. He said if you're one of them just keep in mind that you only have four years to collect your refunds. "If you don't file that, after four years, the Internal Revenue Service says we (the IRS) get that money,” said Schuette.

If you're thinking about walking into a tax preparation agency on tax deadline day, Schuette told us don't waste your time. Most will not accept your work. They’re too busy. "But the following week, you're going to be able to walk into most firms and find some help,” said Schuette. “And if you've missed by one day, missing by three days isn't going to be a big deal."

If you're thinking of post-marking your envelopes through your office and then holding on to your returns for a few weeks, Schuette told us the IRS is on to you. You might get away with three days, but anything more, you're taking a chance with the IRS.