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Tax returns due July 15 following coronavirus extension; what to do if you’re not ready

Due to the coronavirus crisis, we got three extra months to file our taxes. Now, the returns are due.

The IRS said more than 10 million Americans have still not sent in their taxes.

The best advice we can offer is to file something by Wednesday or prepare to pay a heavy penalty.

Even if you can’t pay what you owe, lead tax research analyst with H&R Block Nathan Rigney says that’s okay as long as you file the right way.

“I’d say the biggest mistake is to just not file anything,” he said.

Rigney says people worry they can’t pay, but he says that should not stop you from filing.

“If you do have a balance due and you cannot pay out of pocket, there are different payment plans with the IRS,” he said. “So if you think you can pay your balance within 120 days, there is no fee that applies to get on that short term payment plan with the IRS. If you think it will take longer than that, you can pay a small fee and get on a payment plan and installment agreement with the IRS.”

If there are other reasons why you can’t file, there are other options.

“If you don’t have your documents, you’re just not ready to hit submit on that tax return. It is really important that you file an extension and you avoid that much larger failure to file penalty,” Rigney said.

He says the message is clear: file your taxes because the IRS will punish you if you don’t. “It can hit 25% of your balance due within five months, so it’s just a really significant penalty for failing to file a return.”

If, by chance, you are due a refund, try to file electronically. The IRS is getting that money back to Americans via direct deposit in 10-14 days. If you file a paper return, expect a delay in getting that refund.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Briana Harvath
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