What to do if you haven’t filed your taxes

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (ABC NEWS)–  Tax day is here! Even though we had a few extra days to file this year, some of you still may not make Tuesday night’s midnight deadline which is why we’re helping you stretch your dollar with some options. Even if you feel like time is up, it’s important you do something to avoid those costly penalties.

With more than 150 million Americans rushing to file their tax returns, it probably comes as no surprise that millions and millions of us aren’t close to being ready and this year, we even got a few extra days to crunch those numbers.  A federal holiday fell on the 15th so the filing deadline got pushed back, making Tuesday, April 18th at midnight the deadline.

So, with that deadline looming what’s a taxpayer to do?

“What you need to remember is you’ve got to file something,” said Katherine Pickering, executive director at the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

Filing your return is the best way to go–the penalties for non-filing or late filing are far greater than the penalties of late payment. However, there is another option.

“You can always file an extension which will give you until October to file your return,” she added.

If you owe, try to pay as much as you can, as soon as you can. That will stop any fees, as well as those painful penalties. There are several simple ways to do so including paying online, by phone, by check or even using your personal credit card.

On the other hand, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones getting money back:

“You still need to file your taxes.  The government isn’t just going to give you a refund,” Pickering added.

With that in mind, the IRS is sitting on about one billion dollars in unclaimed refunds.  Taxpayers have three years from the time the tax is due to claim one so April 18th is the last day taxpayers can receive a refund from the 2013 tax year.

If you have a fairly simple return that you can do yourself, we have some apps and sites you can visit at home right now so you are filed before deadline.


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