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Missed the tax filing deadline? Here is what you need to do

Computer crashed? Were you caring for an ailing loved one? Did you misplace tax forms in a cross country move? Any of these reasons could have prevented you from filing your tax return on time.

Your outstanding tax bill will not go away, don't wait to fix it later. Act now to stop the assessment of penalties and interest. In this blog, we've compiled four tips to help.

1. Use IRS online tools.

The IRS has several online tools to help you file and pay your tax bill. Free e-filing is even available if you earned less than $62,000 in 2015. IRS Direct Pay is an easy way to pay as much as you can directly from a checking or saving account.

File even if you can't pay the full balance. Don't pay unnecessary fees by both failing to pay along with failing to file.

2. Explain your reason for filing late.

The agency is not completely heartless. If you had a major life event occur that prevented you from filing, tell the IRS. The IRS can abate penalties when there is reasonable cause.

3. Look to see if there was an extension or other relief.

Think the record rainfall that caused serious flooding in Houston. On a case-by-case basis the IRS will offer relief to affected taxpayers.

Those who live outside the country or are on active duty also have more time to file.

4. Get professional help.

Some situations require the help of a professional. Talk to a tax attorney if the problem in ongoing and you haven't filed for several years. A significant tax liability is another reason to loop in an attorney to handle communications with the IRS.

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