Late penalties

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Updated: 1/10/2008 8:29 am
If you fail to file your federal tax return, you may have to pay a 'failure-to-file' penalty. There is a nondeductible penalty of 5 percent per month on the amount due; and that can go as high as 25 percent of the total. In addition, the IRS can charge you interest on the amount due. According to IRS tax laws, if you're return is over 60 days late, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $100 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax. And all these penalties get worse if the IRS can prove you've been trying to deceive them. The fraud penalty is 15 percent for each month, or part of a month that your return is late, up to a maximum 75 percent. It's a very poor idea to ignore IRS requests for payment because if you do, the penalties can increase sharply, eventually escalating into seizure of your assets! The laws and regulations are lengthy and quite complicated. These tips are provided to give you general information about your taxes. If you have specific questions, please consult a tax advisor or call the toll-free number for Federal Tax Information and Assistance at 1-800-829-1040.

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