Filing taxes late can be a daunting task, but it’s important to fulfill your tax obligations, even if you missed the deadline. If you still need to file your 2012 taxes, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process.
1. Gather all necessary documents: Start by collecting all relevant paperwork, including W-2s, 1099s, and any other income statements you received in 2012. It’s crucial to have accurate and complete information before proceeding.
2. Obtain the appropriate tax forms: Visit the IRS website (www.irs.gov) and download the necessary tax forms for the year 2012. You can also request them by mail by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.
3. Complete your tax return: Fill out the tax forms accurately, ensuring you report all income, deductions, and credits applicable to you in 2012. Consider using tax software or seeking professional help to simplify the process.
4. Calculate your tax liability: Once you’ve completed your tax return, calculate the amount of tax you owe for the year 2012. Ensure you include any penalties or interest accrued due to filing late.
5. Submit your tax return: After completing the necessary calculations, mail your tax return to the appropriate IRS address. Make sure to use certified mail or a reputable delivery service to track your package and confirm its arrival.
6. Pay any taxes owed: Along with your tax return, include a payment for the taxes you owe. If you cannot pay the full amount, it’s still important to send as much as you can. This will help minimize penalties and interest charges.
7. Keep copies of your tax return: Make copies of your completed tax return, payment, and any supporting documents for your records. It’s crucial to have these documents in case of any future audits or inquiries.
8. Communicate with the IRS: If you’re unable to pay your taxes in full, consider contacting the IRS to discuss payment options. They may be able to help you set up an installment agreement or negotiate a reduced payment plan.
Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about filing 2012 taxes late:
1. Is it too late to file my 2012 taxes?
No, it’s not too late. The IRS allows taxpayers to file their tax returns for up to three years after the original due date.
2. Will I incur penalties for filing late?
Yes, if you owe taxes, you will likely face penalties for filing late. The penalty is typically 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month your return is overdue, up to a maximum of 25%.
3. Can I still claim a refund for 2012 if I file late?
Unfortunately, no. The IRS only allows refunds to be claimed within three years of the original due date. So, if you file your 2012 taxes after the three-year mark, you won’t be eligible for a refund.
4. What if I can’t pay the full amount I owe?
If you can’t pay your taxes in full, it’s still important to file your return and send as much payment as possible. You can then contact the IRS to discuss payment options, such as an installment agreement.
5. Do I need to include interest and penalties when paying my taxes?
Yes, when submitting your payment, make sure to include any interest and penalties accrued due to filing late. These charges can be calculated using the IRS instructions or by using tax software.
6. Can I file my 2012 taxes electronically?
No, the IRS only accepts electronically filed tax returns for the current tax year. For prior years, you must file a paper return and mail it to the IRS.
7. Will the IRS contact me if I miss the deadline?
Typically, the IRS will send you a notice if you haven’t filed your taxes. However, it’s always best to take the initiative and file your return as soon as possible to avoid increased penalties.
8. Can I still claim deductions and credits for 2012 if I file late?
Yes, you can still claim deductions and credits for the year 2012, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Make sure to include all applicable deductions and credits on your tax return.
Remember, it’s important to file your taxes, even if you missed the deadline. By following these steps and addressing any outstanding tax liabilities, you can fulfill your obligations and avoid further penalties.