If you missed the October 15th deadline to file your 2012 tax return, you can still file your return. Here's some tips to keep in mind.
Online Tax Prep Software will eventually shut down for the remainder of the year.
If you're preparing your return yourself, you'll need to use a desktop-based tax preparation software. That's because Web-based software will soon go offline to transition their software to the 2013 year. If you already have started your return using Web-based software, however, you may be able to finish up your return -- but check with your software provider to find out when they shut down their 2012 software so you can finish it up before then.
Here's links to reviews of downloadable tax software:
E-File will also go offline after October 15th.
You'll need to mail in your return to the IRS, whether you prepare the return yourself or hire an accountant. That's because the IRS's electronic filing servers start going offline after October 15th to prepare for the next filing season. Here's a list of mailing addresses for sending your return to the IRS. Be sure to obtain proof of delivery when mailing in your return by using certified mail with return receipt requested.
Expect penalties if you have a balance due on your return.
If you have a balance due with the return, the IRS will impose penalties for filing late. Currently the penalties are:
- 5% of the balance owed for each month or part of a month that the return is filed after the deadline (the late filing penalty);
- 0.5% of the balance owed for each month or part of a month that the balance is unpaid (the late payment penalty); and
- 3% annual interest charge on the unpaid balance.
Missing any tax documents?
Make sure you gather up all your tax-related documents. If you're missing any W-2, 1099, or other tax documents, you can ask the IRS to send you a copy of what they call the wage and income transcript. To request this you'll need to fill out Form 4506-T (pdf). You can get the transcript from a local IRS office or through your tax professional.
Be aware that the IRS is currently closed due since Congress has not passed a budget authorizing the federal government to spend money. If you need a transcript or other information from the IRS, you'll need to wait until the IRS resumes normal operations.