Which is worse: Not filing a tax return, or filing a tax return but not paying the taxes owed?
Both are bad, but not filing a return at all is by far the worse of the two options, said Michael Devine, an IRS spokesman for Kansas.
“We know there are people having financial problems they’ve never experienced in their lives,” Devine said. “We think there will be people who have done their taxes, who owe more and can’t pay. They need to file by the deadline, and then pay what they can to reduce the interest payments.
“But if you don’t file, the failure-to-file penalty is 10 times larger than the failure-to-pay penalty. So file your tax return, give us a call, tell us you have problems and give us a chance to help you. There are options, but we can’t help if you don’t ask.”
Taxpayers also can file for an automatic six-month extension for filing a return, but that does not allow you to delay paying taxes owed.
For more information, including payment options, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040.