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There is Hope for You, Procrastinator
Tax day has come and gone, and you didn't file at all, filed without paying your balance due, or filed and only paid part of your balance. Whether you need more time to file paperwork or more time to pay, here's what to expect
You filed on time but didn't pay all of your balance due.
It is best to file on time and pay as much of your balance as possible. Why? Interest, compounded daily, is charged on any unpaid tax from the due date of the return until the date of payment. The interest rate is 5 percent for the first quarter of 2005; the rate is adjusted every three months. If you filed on time but didn't pay on time, you'll generally have to pay a late-payment penalty of one-half of one percent of the tax owed for each month, or part of a month, that the tax remains unpaid after the due date, up to 25 percent. The one-half of one percent rate increases to one percent if the tax remains unpaid after several bills have been sent to you and the IRS issues a notice of intent to levy.
You haven't filed or paid your balance due.
If you did not file on time, and you owe tax, you may owe an additional penalty for failure to file unless you can show reasonable cause. The combined penalty is 5 percent (4.5 percent late filing, 0.5 percent late payment) for each month, or part of a month, that your return is late, up to 25 percent. The late-filing penalty applies to both the tax shown on your return and any additional tax found to be due (reduced by withheld and paid tax amounts). After five months, if you still have not paid, the 0.5 percent failure-to-pay penalty continues to run, up to 25 percent, until the tax is paid. Also, if your return is over 60 days late, the minimum failure-to-file penalty is the smaller of $100 or 100 percent of the tax required to be shown on the return.
You Requested an IRS Installment Agreement
If you or your tax professional filed Form 9465 requesting an installment payment plan, and the IRS accepted your installment payment plan, they will charge you a $43 administrative fee, plus interest on the unpaid tax and you will be expected to have the taxes paid by January 15th of next year. If you filed a timely return and are paying your tax due according to an installment agreement, the penalty is one quarter of one percent for each month, or part of a month, that the tax remains unpaid.

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