Forgot about the Tax Deadline? Here Are Your Options

Forgot about the Tax Deadline? Here Are Your Options
Apr 01, 2024
Demian and Company, CPA

TAX written on sticky note leaning against alarm clockAs the tax deadline approaches, it's crucial to stay organized and on top of deadlines to avoid penalties and unnecessary stress. However, life can get busy, and it's not uncommon for individuals to forget about the tax deadline. If you find yourself in this situation, don't panic. There are several options available to help you navigate this challenge and ensure compliance with tax law. Keep reading to learn what options are available to you with the deadline now two weeks away, and what the pros and cons are of each option.

Filing Quickly

One option for those who have forgotten about the tax deadline is to file their tax return as soon as possible. This approach is ideal for individuals who have all the necessary documents and information readily available. Getting your return pushed through within the next two weeks could offer the following benefits:

  • Avoid Penalties: Filing your tax return promptly helps you avoid late filing penalties imposed by the IRS.
  • Peace of Mind: Once your taxes are filed, you can have peace of mind knowing that you've fulfilled your tax obligations for the year.
  • Timely Refunds: If you are owed a tax refund, filing quickly ensures you receive it in a timely manner.

Of course, doing things in a hurry typically means the following drawbacks:

  • Rushed Preparation: Filing quickly may result in overlooking potential deductions or credits that could lower your tax liability.
  • Potential Errors: Rushing through the process increases the likelihood of making errors on your tax return, which can lead to additional complications.

Filing with a Plan to Amend the Return Later

Another option for those who missed the tax deadline is to file their return with a plan to amend it later. This approach can be beneficial if you need more time to gather all necessary information or if you anticipate changes that could impact your tax liability. The benefits of this approach would include:

  • Extended Preparation Time: Filing with a plan to amend gives you additional time to ensure accuracy and completeness in your tax return.
  • Addressing Changes: If you expect changes that could affect your tax liability, such as corrected forms or additional deductions, filing with a plan to amend allows you to incorporate these changes later.

It’s not the best choice for everyone, however, as it can come with these cons:

  • Delayed Refunds: Amending your tax return can delay any potential refunds owed to you, as the IRS needs time to process the changes.
  • Increased Complexity: Amending a tax return adds complexity to the process and may require additional documentation and explanations.

Filing for an Extension

If you need more time to prepare your tax return, filing for an extension is a viable option. An extension gives you an additional six months to file your return, moving the deadline from April to October and offers some easy benefits:

  • Extended Deadline: Filing for an extension grants you extra time to gather all necessary documents and ensure accuracy in your tax return.
  • Avoid Late Filing Penalties: While an extension doesn't exempt you from paying taxes owed by the original deadline, it helps you avoid late filing penalties.

However, you should keep in mind the following drawbacks of filing for an extension:

  • Interest Charges: Any taxes owed must still be paid by the original deadline to avoid interest charges, even with an extension.
  • Potential for Errors: Procrastination during the extended period can lead to rushed preparation and potential errors in your tax return.

Letting the Deadline Pass

Some individuals may choose to let the tax deadline pass without filing their return. However, this is not something we would recommend to our clients. Letting the deadline pass without filing carries no benefits and is not a wise course of action. Instead, it will leave you with:

  • Penalties and Interest: Failure to file your tax return by the deadline can result in penalties and interest charges imposed by the IRS.
  • Legal Consequences: Continued non-compliance with tax obligations can lead to legal action by tax authorities, including wage garnishment and asset seizure.

Contact Demian & Company CPAs

While forgetting about the tax deadline can be stressful, there are options available to rectify the situation and ensure compliance with tax laws. Whether you choose to file quickly, file with a plan to amend later, file for an extension, or seek professional assistance, taking proactive steps is key. Remember, timely tax filing not only helps you avoid penalties but also provides peace of mind and financial stability. Contact Demian & Company CPAs today to explore your options before the tax deadline passes.

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Demian and Company, CPA