What are "Ghost Tax Preparers"? What You Need to Know
Learn about ghost preparers and how to avoid them during tax season.
While you will not have to pay a late-filing or late-payment penalty if you can show reasonable cause for not filing or paying on time, this is usually the exception, not the rule.
If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty. You should file your tax return on time each year, even if you’re not able to pay all the taxes you owe by the due date. You can reduce additional interest and penalties by paying as much as you can with your tax return. You should explore other payment options such as getting a loan or making an installment agreement to make payments. The IRS will work with you.
The penalty for filing late is normally 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late. That penalty starts accruing the day after the tax filing due date and will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes. If you do not pay your taxes by the tax deadline, you normally will face a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes. That penalty applies for each month or part of a month after the due date and starts accruing the day after the tax-filing due date. If both the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty and the ½ percent failure-to-pay penalties apply in any month, the maximum penalty that you’ll pay for both is 5 percent.
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