If the thought of April 15th is giving you shivers, you might be in a common situation, where you have to file a late tax return. Don’t be too worried. If you handle it correctly, it can be perfectly okay to file a late tax return. However, the situation does require some serious consideration. Here is some helpful advice when filing a late tax return.
1. Don’t bury your head in the sand.
We are all familiar with the image of the bird with its head in the sand and its rear end sticking out. Don’t be that bird. Face your situation head on. Obtain as much knowledge about your financial situation as possible, so that you can make an informed decision about what to do about your problem. If you can’t figure it out yourself, ask for help from the IRS help line, or talk to a tax professional in your area. The only thing you can be sure of at this stage is, that if you do nothing, it will get worse.
2. Ask for help.
When you ask for help in this world, you will be amazed at the number of people who will raise their hand to help you. You will also be amazed at the number of people who have found themselves in similar circumstances. Remember that you are not alone. There are tax professionals who have handled hundreds of cases similar to yours, and they have blueprints for getting you back on track financially. Never be shy about asking for help. That is what they are there for.
3. Let the IRS in on it.
The Internal Revenue Service is nothing but a business. They want to collect their money so the government can run. The IRS hires people; real human beings. In this country, we have created this image of the IRS being an evil monster, but in reality, their goal is to collect money, not to destroy lives. Simply deal with the IRS in a business-like manner. File a tax extension form, call them up, write them a certified letter; whatever it takes, let them know you will be late with your tax form, but that you fully intend to pay your taxes in full. Let the IRS know your situation.
It is scary to not be able to file your taxes on time, or not be able to pay your taxes on time. But it isn’t the end of the world. If you face the problem, consult with a tax professional and work on preventing it from happening in the future, you will be just fine.