The consequences of filing taxes late

Although Pennsylvania residents know that tax season rolls around each April, they may not always be ready to file their taxes as the deadline approaches. Some people may think it will not matter if they file their taxes after the deadline. However, there can be serious consequences for people who file late.

A person's particular situation determines the ramifications of filing late. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the consequences typically depend on whether someone will receive a tax refund or not. If people owe taxes, then there are a number of penalties they might experience. In this situation, someone typically needs to pay a fine if he or she files more than two months after the deadline. This fine is usually about $205; however, some people may need to pay between 5 and 25 percent of the taxes they owe for each month they do not file. Conversely, there may not be serious ramifications if a person expects to receive a refund on his or her taxes.

Sometimes people may not experience penalties if they can demonstrate there is a good reason they filed their taxes late. However, this does not include times when people do not have the money to pay their taxes. In this situation, people should typically go ahead and file. This ensures that someone will not have to pay a penalty because he or she failed to file. Once the tax return is in, people can usually work with the IRS to find a way to pay the taxes they owe.  

If people realize they missed the deadline to file their taxes, they may feel tempted to ignore their situation. CNBC says that the consequences of failing to file usually get more serious the longer a person ignores his or her taxes. Some people might be unable to get their tax refund. In other situations, the IRS might charge a person with tax evasion or take someone's property.


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