Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Tips for individuals who missed the tax deadline

Each year, millions of Americans race to meet the April 16 deadline by which to file and pay their taxes. Each year, many individuals around the country and in states like Ohio, miss the deadline. There are a number of reasons why an individual may fail to file and pay their taxes on time. Medical emergencies, national disasters and computer errors are all possible reasons why taxes may not be top of mind. Regardless of the reason, individuals who failed to meet the tax deadline would be wise to follow certain steps to avoid being charged with potential tax crimes and paying additional fines.

First and foremost, it's wise to file a tax return as soon as possible. Many individuals wrongly assume that if they miss the April 16 deadline they are better off just foregoing this year and waiting until next year. This logic, however, is flawed and can result in an individual facing criminal charges related to tax evasion. Therefore, even those individuals who are not able to pay their taxes should still file. The Internal Revenue Service issues separate fines for late filing and payment so it's best to get at least one out of the way as soon as possible.

Second, be honest. If an unforeseen event such as medical emergency or national tragedy is truly to cause of a missed tax deadline it's best to relay such to the IRS. In some cases, extensions will be granted and penalties and fines waived for those who were impacted by events beyond their control.

Lastly, regardless of why, individuals who fail to meet the deadline would be wise to enlist the assistance of a tax professional. In many cases, a reputable tax professional has experience dealing with delinquent tax matters and can provide for the best possible outcome with regard to fines and penalties.

Individuals who find themselves the subjects of criminal tax charges would be wise to seek the advice of a legal professional. A tax attorney can help provide for the best possible outcome in matters related to tax evasion, tax fraud and tax debt.

Source: Forbes, "So You Missed Tax Day, What Next?" Kelly Phillips Erb, April 17, 2013

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