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Instructions for Form 1040-EZ

What if You Cannot Pay?(p21)

If you cannot pay the full amount shown on line 12 when you file, you can ask for:
Installment agreement.(p21)
Under an installment agreement, you can pay all or part of the tax you owe in monthly installments. However, even if your request to pay in installments is granted, you will be charged interest and may be charged a late payment penalty on the tax not paid by April 17, 2012. You also must pay a fee. To limit the interest and penalty charges, pay as much of the tax as possible when you file. But before requesting an installment agreement, you should consider other less costly alternatives, such as a bank loan or credit card payment.
To ask for an installment agreement, you can apply online or use Form 9465 or 9465-FS. To apply online, go to and click on Tools and then Online Payment Agreement.
Extension of time to pay.(p21)
If paying the tax when it is due would cause you an undue hardship, you can ask for an extension of time to pay by filing Form 1127 by April 17, 2012. An extension generally will not be granted for more than 6 months. If you pay after April 17, 2012, you will be charged interest on the tax not paid by April 15, 2012. You must pay the tax before the extension runs out. If you do not, penalties may be imposed.

Penalty for Not Paying Enough Tax During the Year(p21)

You may have to pay a penalty if line 12 is at least $1,000 and it is more than 10% of the tax shown on your return. The tax shown on your return is the amount on line 10 minus the amounts on line 8a. You may choose to have the IRS figure the penalty for you. If you owe a penalty, the IRS will send you a bill. However, if you want to figure the penalty yourself on Form 2210, you must file Form 1040A or 1040 to do so.
The penalty may be waived under certain conditions. See Pub. 505 for details.
Exceptions to the penalty.(p21)
You will not owe the penalty if your 2010 tax return was for a tax year of 12 full months and either of the following applies.
  1. You had no tax shown on your 2010 return and you were a U.S. citizen or resident for all of 2010, or
  2. Line 7 on your 2011 return is at least as much as the tax shown on your 2010 return.