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From paying a tax bill to correcting a tax return error

Did you miss the tax return filing deadline of April 18? Do you still need to make a payment of request an installment agreement? Are you worried about a possible error?

With computer glitches that caused headaches last week, the IRS provided an extra day to file a return and pay your tax bill. If you still need to file your return, try to do so within 60 days. After that the minimum penalty is $210 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax, whichever is less. You might, however, be able to qualify for a waiver of this penalty if you had a good reason for filing late.

Paying a tax bill

The online bill pay service crashed last week, but it is back online. You can view your balance and send a payment from a bank account through IRS Direct Pay or use a debit or credit card with a small processing charge.

If the balance was much more than you expected, you might want to apply for an installment agreement. Entering a payment plan is the only way to avoid IRS collection measures such as a lien on your property, levy of assets or wage garnishment.

Correcting errors: Do you need form 1040X

In the rush to get a return filed before the deadline it is easy to make mistakes or forget things. With math errors or the failure to attach a schedule, the IRS will usually notify you by mail. These do not normally require that you file an amended return.

To correct filing status, income, deductions or credits, you will need to file a paper 1040X. Then the Service recommends you wait 16 weeks for processing.

If you have questions about how a significant mistake affects your tax obligation, it is a good idea to seek tax advice from a professional.

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