Past-Due Tax Return

IRS Definition

File all tax returns that are due, regardless of whether or not you can pay in full. File your past due return the same way and to the same location where you would file an on-time return.

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If you don’t file a required tax return by the due date, the IRS will charge you a 5% per month penalty for failing to file. If you owe taxes on the return, the IRS will also charge a 0.5% per month failure to pay penalty. Interest will also accrue on any unpaid balance from the day the return was due until the date you pay the tax in full.

The IRS can also file a return for you, called a substitute for return (SFR). The IRS prepares the return based on information it has from your employers, banks, financial institutions and other payers.

If you have a refund due, you must file your tax return within three years of the due date of the return, or you’ll lose your refund.

Learn how to address past-due tax returns.

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