Let's say it's August and you still haven't paid your taxes. What can you do? It can be terrifying to deal with the IRS, but it's actually not as bad as it may seem. A CPA can whip your taxes back into shape, but first you're going to need to do a little legwork. Here's how you can get started.
Get Your Documents Together
You don't need to rely on the documents you have. You can request documents from the IRS. Even if you haven't paid your taxes, the IRS has been collecting your W2s, 1099s, and other tax information. You can request it online and print it out immediately. This will form the basis of your tax return.
From there, you need to figure out your expenses. If you're taking a standard deduction, you actually don't need any more information. If you're itemizing, you'll need all of your bank statements and credit card statements. Your CPA can put together your tax return from there.
Fines and Penalties
If this is the first time you've ever been late on your taxes, you should know that it's general IRS policy to forgive the first time you've been late. You may not need to pay any fines or penalties at all, if you are able to file your taxes now and if you have a valid reason for being late.
Of course, even if you aren't able to get your fines and penalties waived, you may be surprised to find out how little the IRS actually charges. Most fines are going to be only a few hundred dollars, even if you owe them money.
Paying Your Back Taxes
What if you cant pay the taxes that you owe? If you're filing late you may be blindsided by the amount of money you need to pay. Don't worry. The IRS will automatically put most people on an installment plan. You can get on the IRS website and apply if you don't owe more than $10,000, and be automatically granted an installment plan.
If you owe from $10,000 to $25,000, the process might be a little more involved, but you can usually still get an installment plan if you require one.
It's important to get square with the IRS as soon as you possibly can, but it also isn't something you should panic about. Many people are late with their taxes or fail to pay them correctly. The IRS just wants to see that you are making an effort. Accounting services can help.Share