Invest Wisely

What if you missed the 2018 Tax Deadline?

by Megan Roth5 min read
2018 tax deadline - what you need to know

Tax Day 2018 in the US has now come and gone. If you are one of the unfortunates who missed the tax deadline, then you need to take the following steps to minimize potential complications and/or penalties. The steps you need to take to fix your unfiled tax return are different if you are owe taxes or are getting a refund.



Steps to take if you need to get a tax refund but you missed you tax deadline

The good news is that if you have missed your tax deadline but are owed a refund, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. There are no penalties that you will incur, and you can file for your tax refund any time in the next three years. This is because the Internal Revenue Service gives you up to three years to claim your tax refundsHere’s the catch. If you want the convenience of filing your taxes online, then it needs to be done before November 2018. After that, you would need to file your returns the old fashioned way – on paper through the mail.


Another little thing you might want to keep in mind. If you do not file your tax refund on time, then the IRS will do it for you. It’s called filing a substitute return. You might think that it’s great that the IRS has filed your returns for you, however, you do not realize that you could end up losing a lot of money or even owing the IRS in taxes since the agency may not have included all your credits and deductions. If the IRS files on your behalf because you missed the tax deadline, then you have only 90 days to correct the situation.


Don't miss your tax deadline
If you missed your tax deadline, take steps to fix the situation immediately


Steps to take if you owe the IRS taxes and you missed your tax deadline

If you missed your tax deadline and you owe the IRS taxes, then you need to file your return immediately. The penalties for missing your tax deadline are ten times higher than if you fail to pay your taxes on time. You can still file your taxes, even if you can’t pay the government what you owe. You should do this for two reasons.


  • The penalties for not paying your taxes on time are much lower than the penalties for not filing your taxes by the tax deadline.
  • You can work out a payment plan with the IRS. You have the option of setting up a short term plan, taking up to 120 days to pay off the taxes you owe. If you need to set up a repayment plan that will last longer than 120 days, then you need to make an installment agreement, which you need to pay for.


It is never a good idea to miss your tax deadline. If you have, then fix the problem as soon as possible before the situation becomes worse and the IRS reaches out to you.