What happens if I file my taxes late? IRS tips if you missed the tax deadline

The tax filing deadline has come and gone. If you didn’t file a tax return or an extension - but should have - you need to take action right now! 

Here are some tips from the IRS to help you if you missed the 2024 tax deadline:

Tips If You Missed The Tax Deadline From IRS

- There is no penalty for filing a late return after the tax deadline if a refund is due. If you didn’t file and owe tax, file a return as soon as you can and pay as much as possible to reduce penalties and interest.

- If you don’t qualify for IRS Free File, you can use Free File Fillable Forms to e-file. This option uses electronic versions of IRS paper forms. It does some of the math and works best for those who are comfortable doing their own taxes.

- You can get fast answers about your refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool available on IRS.gov and through the IRS2Go mobile app. All you need is your Social Security number, tax filing status and the exact amount of your refund. Where’s My Refund? is updated no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you don’t need to check the status more often.

- If you owe taxes, you can view your balance, pay with IRS Direct Pay, by debit or credit card or apply online for a payment plan, including an installment agreement. Before accessing your tax account online, you must authenticate your identity through the Secure Access process. Several other electronic payment options are available on IRS.gov/payments. They are secure and easy to use. If you pay electronically, you’ll receive immediate confirmation when you submit your payment. Also, with Direct Pay and EFTPS, you can opt in to receive email notifications about your payments.

- If you need more time to pay your taxes, you can apply for an installment agreement with the IRS. The best way to apply is to use the IRS Online Payment Agreement tool. Once you complete the online process, you’ll receive immediate notification of whether your agreement is approved.

- No matter how or when you file, you should keep a copy of your tax return and all supporting documents. 

- If you're not sure whether you're required to file a return, visit Do I need to file a tax return? or refer to Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals). If you're required to file and owe a balance, but you can't pay all the tax due on your return, the IRS may be able to help you establish a payment agreement. For additional information on tax payment options, refer to Topic no. 202.

READ MORE: Here’s how much Americans pay in taxes over their lifetime. And what you pay in DC, Maryland & Virginia