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What To Do if You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

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can't pay taxes helpYour heart’s beating double time. You just got back from your tax preparer’s office (or just finished preparing your taxes yourself) and are now facing a huge tax bill that you have no way of paying. Don’t be afraid, panic or delay! Instead, the IRS advises you to do these three things instead.

  1. File your return. Although you cannot avoid the penalties and interest if you don’t file and pay on time, you can avoid or limit these charges by filing on time, by April 15.
  2. Pay what you can when you file. You should do your best to pay as much as you can by the April 15th deadline because failure-to-pay penalties and interest are due on any unpaid balance and increase the amount you owe.
  3. Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The agency may be able to provide some relief such as a short-term extension to pay, an installment agreement or an offer in compromise.

Taxpayers who owe but can’t pay in full have several options for meeting their tax obligations. For example, you can use the Online Payment Agreement application on IRS.gov if you owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest to request an installment agreement and be immediately notified if the request is approved.

Additionally, taxpayers who can’t meet the filing deadline can request an extension of time to file. However, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.

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