Ask yourself: did you put filing your 2013 tax return on the back burner?
If your answer to that question is yes, stop procrastination and get your recipe books…I mean…receipts out! As with cooking, knowing the basics about filing a prior year tax return is a MUST. To help, take a look at the most common misconceptions about how to file late 2013 taxes below.
Fiction: I can’t claim my 2013 tax refund if I file late.
Fact: You’re in luck (for a little while anyways)! Thanks to the IRS’ statute of limitations, you have 3 whole years after the deadline to file and claim your refund. That means that for 2013 taxes, you have until April 15, 2017 to claim your refund. Be careful though. This rule does NOT apply if you owe the IRS so be absolutely sure that you don’t before intentionally waiting!
Fiction: I can still e-file.
Fact: Unfortunately, you’ve missed the train on this one. October 15th, 2014 was the absolute last day for you to e-file your 2013 tax return as an individual. That’s because the IRS shuts down their e-file system on this date each year.
Fiction: I can submit my 2013 tax return online to the IRS.
Fact: Nope, sorry but you’ll need to download, print, sign, and mail your 2013 tax return.
Fiction: I can’t prepare my late 2013 tax return online because I need tax forms and tax tables.
Fact: You can prepare your return in just 10 minutes with Priortax now. No tax forms, no tax tables, no tax rates: the application pulls these for you. And with help from our tax experts, we’ll have you skipping to the mail box in no time!
Fiction: I can’t file my 2013 tax return because I still have a 2012 tax return to file.
Fact: Yes, you can. To avoid the snowball effect of penalty fees and interest though, you should file both returns as soon as possible.
Fiction: I filed an extension so I won’t be facing any IRS penalty fees.
Fact: If you are filing late, owe tax, and don’t intend to pay immediately, there are two penalty fees that will apply to you. The first one is the failure-to-file penalty and the second one is the failure-to-pay penalty. To learn more about the penalty fees that apply to you, check out our other article.
Fiction: The penalty fee for filing late is less expensive than the fee for not paying tax due.
Fact: Surprisingly, it is the exact opposite! The failure-to-file penalty will cost you 5% of your unpaid tax owed per month. The failure-to-pay penalty will cost you 0.5% of your unpaid tax due per month. Both fees will cap off at 25% of your unpaid tax overall, however the failure-to-file fee will ultimately make a bigger dent in your wallet. Another way to avoid getting caught up in penalty fees is to check out our Tax Resolution service offered!
Fiction: I can’t claim my refund anymore so there is no point in filing my late 2013 tax return.
Fact: You can claim your refund up to three years after the filing deadline. That means that if you have a refund for 2014, 2013, and 2012, you are entitled to it. So file now and maybe that dream vacation will become a reality.
Fiction: I can’t file since I can’t pay the amount of taxes I owe the IRS.
Fact: You should file your return even if your tax due is more than you can pay all at once. The IRS has a payment plan option for taxpayers who make an effort and file. To find out which payment plan works best for you, check out the IRS qualifications.