Taxpayers who owe tax and file their federal income tax return more than 60 days after the deadline will generally face a higher late-filing penalty. Ordinarily, the late-filing penalty, also known as the failure-to-file penalty (FTF), is assessed when a taxpayer fails to file a tax return or request an extension by the return due date. This penalty, which only applies if there is unpaid tax, is usually 5 percent for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late.
If a tax return is filed more than 60 days after the April due date — or more than 60 days after the October due date if an extension was obtained — the minimum penalty is either $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. This means that if the tax due is $210 or less, the penalty is equal to the tax amount due. If the tax due is more than $210, the penalty is at least $210. The late-filing penalty will stop accruing once the taxpayer files a complete and correct return.
The FTF penalty does not apply to the Taxpayers who met this year’s April 18 deadline to file their individual tax return. It also won’t apply to the Taxpayers who asked the IRS for a six-month extension of time to file, as long as they file by Oct. 15, 2018.
In addition, the IRS urges Taxpayers to pay what they owe to avoid additional late-payment penalty and interest charges. The late-payment penalty, also known as the failure-to-pay penalty (FTP), is usually 0.5% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month the payment is late. Interest, currently at the rate of 5 percent per year, compounded daily, also applies to any payment made after the original April 18 deadline.
After a return is filed, the IRS will figure the penalty and interest due and bill the taxpayer. Normally, the taxpayer will then have 21 days to pay any amount due.