As you know, Tuesday is the deadline to file your taxes. And even if you can't afford to pay them, you should still file so you don't get penalized. If you have a good REASON for not being able to pay, the IRS IS flexible in a few ways.
--Here's a list from "Real Simple" magazine of three things you can do if you can't afford to pay, or you get hit with late fees.
#1.) Filing Late. If you're one of the estimated 10.4 million Americans who WILL miss the April 17th deadline, you'll be charged 3.19% interest per year on the balance. Plus a 4.5% penalty for every month you go without filing.
--But if there's a legitimate reason you miss the deadline . . . like a divorce, illness, death in the family, or a natural disaster . . . you can sometimes get those fees reversed.
--When you get a past-due notice, just send a certified letter to the address it came from saying you're, quote, "requesting abatement." Then explain why you couldn't file in time.
--If you DON'T have a good reason for being late, just file as soon as possible to avoid that extra 4.5% penalty.
#2.) Setting Up a Payment Plan. You can pay off your taxes over the next six YEARS if you need to.
--The downside is, you still have to pay 3.19% interest on it. Plus an extra fee that can be as much as $105. But if you owe less than 25 grand, it's easy to apply for a payment plan on the IRS website.
--Just file your taxes and send a check for as much as you can afford to pay right now. Then go to IRS.gov/Individuals.
#3.) Requesting a Settlement. If it turns out you can't pay within six years, go to IRS.gov and search for form 656B. Then fill out the worksheet to figure out the minimum amount you should offer to pay.
--You'll have to pay a portion of your bill, and probably a $150 application fee. But if your offer gets rejected, both of those get applied to your balance.