As April 17, 2012 approaches; tax day for the 2011 Individual Income Tax, the question becomes, “file or don’t file my return?” Setting aside tax protest issues – sternly addressed by courts, this question often arises when a taxpayer does not have the money to pay their tax bill. This inability to pay is never acceptable to the IRS as “reasonable cause” not to file your return.
Failing to file your return on time results in some serious penalties and interest on any tax due. The “failure to file penalty” is 5% per month on the tax due, capped at 25% of the tax due. There is also interest charged each month on the tax due – and the penalty. Additionally, the interest never caps and continues to accrue until full payment is made.