Rev. date: 08/2006
You may not have filed your federal income tax return for this year or previous years. Regardless of your reason for not filing, file your tax return as soon as possible. If you need help, the IRS is ready to assist you.
If you are not sure you are required to file a return, refer to Publication 17
, Your Federal Income Tax
. If you cannot pay all of the tax due on your return, the IRS may be able to assist you with arranging payments. For additional information on what to do if you cannot pay your income tax, refer to Tax Topic 202
, Tax Payment Options
- If your return was not filed by the due date (including extensions), you may be subject to the failure to file penalty, unless you have reasonable cause for your failure to file. If you did not pay your tax in full by the due date for the return (not including extensions of time to file), you may also be subject to the failure to pay penalty, unless you have reasonable cause for your failure to pay. Additionally, interest is charged on taxes not paid by the due date, even if you have an extension of time to file. Interest is also charged on penalties.
- There is no penalty for failure to file if you are due a refund. But, if you do not file a tax return, you cannot obtain a refund. If you wait too long to file, you may risk losing the refund altogether. In cases where a return is not filed, the law provides most taxpayers with a three-year window of opportunity for claiming a refund.
- After the expiration of the three-year window, the refund statute prevents the issuance of a refund check and the application of any credits, including overpayments of estimated or withholding taxes, to other tax years that are underpaid. On the other hand, the statute of limitations for the IRS to assess and collect any outstanding balances does not start until a return has been filed. In other words, there is no statute of limitations for assessing and collecting the tax if no return has been filed.
For answers to your tax questions, information about payment arrangements, or any other tax–related inquiries visit the IRS Website at www.irs.gov or call the IRS Tax Help Line at 800–829–1040.