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What should I do if I don't have my taxes ready yet?

The deadline for filing your tax returns is just days away. If you have yet to complete or submit your own return, you may need to seriously consider filing an extension.

An extension can provide some breathing room for people who have not had the time or ability to complete their taxes by the April 18 deadline. However, there is one crucial detail you need to understand if you are considering filing an extension: You still need to pay your taxes, and they are still due on April 18.

An extension doesn't give you more time to actually pay the money you owe, it only gives you more time to submit your paperwork. Because of this, you should still try and pay what you owe (or think you owe) or authorize the IRS to withdraw the expected amount from your bank account electronically.

However, there are plenty of people across Atlanta who, for one reason or another, cannot pay their taxes by the April deadline. If you are in this situation, you are likely very concerned about what that means.

Basically, if you cannot pay all of your taxes on time, you will get a bill from the IRS for the remaining balance. After April 18, any unpaid balance you are carrying will accumulate interest and potentially other financial penalties.

Before you give up hope or start to panic about unpaid taxes, you need to first get your current situation under control. This means either submitting your completed return or filing for an extension, and paying whatever you can even if it is not the full amount.

Once you get these details in order, you can discuss with an attorney the options that may be available for having penalties and interest waived, disputing the amount owed and/or negotiating payment installations for unpaid taxes.

It is crucial that you act on these issues sooner, rather than later. Failing to do so can increase your financial obligations and limit the options you might have to resolve the situation.

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The Peck Group, LC

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Located in Atlanta, The Peck Group, LC, represents clients nationwide. Regionally, we are committed to serving clients in Fulton County and throughout the state of Georgia.