What To Do If You Didn't File Your Taxes

So you couldn’t pay your taxes and you opted not to file them, or an extension, at all. Don’t sit around worrying about when the IRS will catch on and come after you; file them as soon as possible, writes consumer reporter Iris Taylor, so that you can set up a repayment plan and move on with your life. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can pay them off (you can take up to 5 years to pay them), and the less you’ll end up paying in penalties and fees over the long run.

If you can pay off the bill in the next 120 days, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to let them know. (You can make free electronic payments online at www.irs.gov.) If you need more time than that, fill out Form 9465 (“Installation Agreement Request”) and send that in with your tax return, along with the set-up fee–between $105 and $43, depending on your income level and payment method. And if you owe so much money that you’ll never be able to pay it off and you can prove it, send in Form 656 (“Offer in Compromise”), which will cost $150.

Finally, consider getting a loan to repay the taxes you owe. Obviously you’ll have to compare the total cost to see which method is better, but a tax manager tells Taylore that it could be “cheaper than paying penalties, interest and fees to the IRS,” and that “you’ll get more consumer protection… and you also might be able to deduct the interest that you borrow.”

“Consumer Watch: What to do if you’re a tax delinquent” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]