Filing your tax return is an annual chore that most of us would rather not think about. All of the complicated paperwork can quickly make for a headache. And if you’re expecting your tax return filing to result in a lighter wallet this year, it’s understandable to want to push this task off.
While most of us can’t get away with foregoing our tax filing just because we don’t feel like it, is there ever a good reason to file late? In today’s post, we examine such qualifying circumstances.
What’s a good reason?
If you’ve suffered undue hardship in the last tax year, the IRS may show you some leniency with respect to your tax filing deadline. Examples of such circumstances include:
- Surviving a natural disaster—such as a hurricane or fire
- Familial tragedy—including the death, serious illness or incapacitation of you or someone close to you
- Inability to obtain your tax records for a legitimate reason
- Other reason—i.e., You can demonstrate to the IRS that you made a good faith effort to take all the requisite steps to file your taxes but, for circumstances outside of your control, were unable to do so.
What’s a bad reason?
For many of us, tax season hits our bank accounts hard. If you have an unexpectedly high tax liability this year—and you don’t have the funds to pay it right now—this is not a legitimate reason to file late. You should still file your tax return on time, but you can apply to pay off the money you owe in installments.
If you need to file late or set up an installment plan to pay off your taxes over time, it’s worth consulting with an experienced tax attorney to make sure you’re taking the best possible action for your situation.