Tomorrow is the extension deadline for filing your 2012 income tax. So if you have pushed off the tax man for the past six months, now is the time to panic (or at least get your return prepared). But tomorrow also will likely be day fifteen of the government shutdown: so do you have to submit your tax return? YES, you have to submit your return.
Failing to file your return on time can lead to a stiff penalty from the IRS. Typically the penalty is “five percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a tax return is late.” (Read more at the IRS’s Eight Facts on Late Filing Penalties.)This penalty begins counting against you the day after the due date.
For the e-file crowd, the IRS automated computer system is still up and running and will accept your electronic filing. If you prefer good old fashioned ink and paper, you need to drop your tax return in the mail before the deadline. The IRS’s automated system will process all e-filed returns as usual and all paper returns will be held for processing, with their mailing date treated as the filing date, until the government starts up again.
So, in short, get your returns in on time to avoid any problems. While the IRS expects you to behave as if it is business as usual, they will not. For more information on the IRS Shutdown, read “A Tax Holiday? Not Quite.”