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What to do if you miss the tax deadline

Posted at 5:27 PM, Apr 15, 2024

MCLENNAN COUNTY, Texas — Studies have shown about one third of Americans procrastinate til the last day to do their taxes, and to help, one free local organization stepped up to help you and your neighbors beat the deadline.

  • The deadline to file your 2023 taxes is April 15th, 2024.
  • If you miss the deadline, and you’re getting a return from the IRS, you wont see a penalty, but if you owe money, you could see a “failure to pay penalty” of 0.5 percent of the taxes you owe for each month you don’t pay.
  • You can file an extension online by filling out form 4868, which will give you til October 15th without penalty.

BROADCAST SCRIPT:
“The IRS doesn’t like it when you owe more than 1000 dollars,” Douglass Smith said.

Douglass Smith has been volunteering with AARP tax aide for the last 18 years.

This helps families like the Squires get their taxes done for free.

“Help’s us a lot since we’ve got to pay a lot this year, we’re paying more than we normally do,” Linda Squires said.

But what happens if you waited until the last minute?

“They will charge you — they will penalize you," Smith said.

If you’re getting a return from the IRS, you wont see a penalty, but if you owe money, you could see a “failure to pay penalty," of 0.5 percent of the taxes you owe for each month you don’t pay.

“If there is a penalty they will send you a letter — no one will call you — they will send you a letter,” Smith said.

To avoid that, you can file an extension like Fran Daniel, who was headed into the post office to mail hers out, 25 News asked her why she waited until April 15th.

“I couldn’t complete the tax paperwork in time — a lot of emergencies come up that people can’t possible get it done by then," she said.

You can file an extension online by filling out form 4868, which will give you until October 15 without penalty.

But because of the free service, that's something the Squires don’t have to worry about.

"I’m no good online — I want to be person to person. It’s easier for me," she said.

According to the IRS, taxes owed and not paid by April 18 are subject to penalties and interest. If you do receive a penalty, you can contact the IRS and explain why you couldn’t pay on time for penalty relief.