[6/8/18] IRS Tax Deadline
Taxpayers who owe tax and file their federal income tax return more than 60 days after
the deadline will usually face a higher late-filing penalty. For that reason, the Internal
Revenue Service urges affected taxpayers to avoid the penalty increase by filing their
return by Thursday, June 14.
Ordinarily, the late-filing penalty, also known as the failure-to-file penalty, is assessed
when a taxpayer fails to file a tax return or request an extension by the due date. This
penalty, which only applies if there is unpaid tax, is usually 5 percent for each month or
part of a month that a tax return is late.
If a tax return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date — or more than 60
days after the October due date if an extension was obtained — the minimum penalty is
either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less.
The late-filing penalty does not apply to the estimated 14 million taxpayers who asked
the IRS for a six-month extension of time to file, as long as they file by Oct. 15, 2018.
For those who did not file or request an extension, the IRS recommends filing by June
14 to avoid a penalty increase.
After a return is filed, the IRS will figure the penalty and interest due and bill the
taxpayer. Normally, the taxpayer will then have 21 days to pay any amount due.
Taxpayers who have a history of filing and paying on time often qualify to have the late
filing and payment penalties abated. A taxpayer usually qualifies for this relief if they
haven’t been assessed penalties for the past three years and meet other requirements.
For more information, see the First-Time Penalty Abatement page online @ IRS.gov.
Even if a taxpayer does not qualify for this special relief, they may still be able to have
penalties reduced or eliminated if their failure to file or pay on time was due to
reasonable cause and not willful neglect. Be sure to read the penalty notice carefully
and follow its instructions for requesting this relief.
Taxpayers who owe tax for 2017 can avoid having the same problem for 2018 by
increasing the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks. For help determining the
right amount to withhold, use the Withholding Calculator online @ IRS.gov