Can You File Taxes Late: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

If there is one guarantee in this world, it’s that you will have to pay taxes. Every year, people dread April 15th because this is when their taxes are due. If you get a refund, that date doesn’t seem so daunting. However, if you owe, you probably procrastinate for as long as possible. In some cases, you may even go over the deadline. When this happens, you might ask: can you file taxes late?


Yes, it’s possible to file your taxes late, but you have to let the IRS know that you are going to be late—especially if you owe money. To let them know, you have to file an extension, and this then gives you an extra six months to get your taxes done.

The Good

The good thing about being able to apply for an extension is that it gives you more time to get your information together and your taxes figured out. Once you have filed your extension, you have until October 15 to get your returns completed and turned in.

If you are getting a refund your taxes, then you won’t have to worry about filing your returns on time or asking for an extension. However, there are some things to consider when you go this route. The first is that you can’t get your refund until you file your tax returns.

The other is that the statute of limitations for when the IRS can audit your taxes doesn’t begin until you file your return. On average, the IRS can audit taxes from 3 years ago. The sooner you get your taxes in, the sooner the clock starts on their time frame. Thus, if you are late, you are giving the IRS more time to look at your return and consider doing an audit.

The Bad

When asking can you file taxes late, the answer is that you can. However, if you owe money and you ask for an extension, you will be asked to estimate how much money you will owe and make that payment by April 15th. If you don’t make a full payment, then interest will kick in at 0.5% per month. Thus, if you file for an extension to file your taxes in October and you don’t pay what you owe, you will owe that amount plus any interest that has accrued.

The Ugly

If you didn’t file by the deadline and you didn’t ask for an extension, then you will have to pay a late filing fee of 5% of the unpaid tax per month in addition to interest. The IRS has the option of imposing the maximum late filing fee, which is 25% of the amount due.

Some other things to keep in mind include that if you have never filed a tax return, there is no statute of limitations on how far back the IRS can go to audit you. Even if you are getting a refund, they can go back and scrutinize all of your tax returns for problems or issues. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get your returns done and in on time.


When asking can you file your tax returns late, the answer is yes, but there are some things you need to know about the process. No one said you had to go through this alone, and if you find that you are struggling and need help, consider calling in a professional. Contact Geaux Tax Resolution to get help with your tax returns. Get them done on time and let the professionals walk you through the filing and extension process. It’s not too late: give them a call today!

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