Haven't Filed Last Year's Tax Return? Here's What to do

The IRS says it hears many reasons from taxpayers for not filing a tax return. You may not have known whether you were required to file. Whatever the reason, it’s best to file your return as soon as you can. If you need help, even with a late return, the IRS is ready to assist you.

The failure to file a return can be costly — whether you end up owing more or miss out on a refund. If you owe taxes, a delay in filing may result in a "failure to file" penalty and interest charges. The longer you delay, the larger these charges grow.

There is no penalty for failure to file if you are due a refund. But if you wait too long to file, you may risk losing the refund altogether. The deadline for claiming refunds is three years after the return due date.

Individuals who are entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit must file their return to claim the credit even if they are not otherwise required to file.

Whether or not you must file a tax return will depend upon a number of factors, including your filing status, age, and gross income. Some taxpayers are required to file whether or not they owe money. Even if you do not meet any of the requirements, you should file a return if you are due a refund.


This daily Tax Tip has been provided by the Internal Revenue Service.


Already a member? log in here.

Editor's Choice

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Nov 24This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Dec 3The materials discuss the concepts and principles in the AICPA’s new special purpose framework.
Dec 9A key component to improving your firm’s workflow efficiency while enhancing your profitability at the same time is how you leverage emerging technologies.
Dec 9Kristen Rampe will cover how to diffuse the tension in challenging situations in this one-hour webinar.