What If You Don’t Pay Taxes


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What Happens If You Dont Pay Taxes: Everything You Need To Know

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Taxes?

Youve just finished working on your taxes and discovered something that makes your stomach churn. You cant pay your tax bill. You owe a lot of money to the IRS that you dont have. What happens if you dont pay tax?

Will you go to jail? Is the IRS going to take your house? All of these terrifying scenarios run through your mind.

Take a deep breath. Youre going to be okay. Youre not going to jail. The IRS is not going to take your house. Your unpaid taxes will get taken care of and youll get on with life.

How can we say this with such confidence? Youre not the first person who cant pay their tax bill. Every year millions of Americans cant pay their taxes. The IRS knows this, and its why they give taxpayers lots of options to take care of their tax debt.

In this article, well break down everything you need to know about what happens if you dont pay your taxes, different ways you can pay your taxes, and strategies for getting caught up on your unpaid tax liability so you dont have to worry about any of those terrifying scenarios you were thinking about coming true.

What If I Cant Pay My Taxes

Don’t panic you may qualify for a self-service, online payment plan that allows you to pay off an outstanding balance over time. Once your online application is complete, you’ll receive immediate notification of whether your payment plan has been approved without having to call or write to the IRS. Online payment plans are processed more quickly than requests submitted with electronically filed tax returns, even if the new tax is not yet assessed.

Is Sc A Tax Lien State

As South Carolina is not a tax lien state, buyers purchase an interest in land, rather than a lien. Investors usually receive anywhere from 3% 12% back in interest or receive the deed outright on the property. For those looking for ROI in a short time period, tax sales are certainly something to consider.

Recommended Reading: Tax Filing Deadline 2021 Extension

Can I Still File My 2018 Taxes In 2021

Time matters with tax refunds is the last day to file your original 2018 tax return to claim a refund. If you received an extension for the 2018 return then your deadline is October 17, 2022. … You also lose the opportunity to apply any refund dollars to another tax year in which you owe income tax.

Disadvantages Of Paying Property Tax


Many investors are not paying property tax for obvious reasons, i.e., they can gain higher returns by investing their money elsewhere.

Also, because this tax type is not collected by government bodies and is collected by municipalities, the temptation to skip a payment is ever-growing.

It might look like an appealing idea to you, but in the long run, it’s not worth it. You should consider some disadvantages before deciding not to pay your property tax, and the ramifications can cause you to lose your property.

Interest Charges and Fees:

Interest charges are one of the big implications of figuring out what happens if you don’t pay property tax.

Missing payments for your property tax will increase your bill due to interest charges it won’t just be forgotten about.

Normally, there is a grace period after the set due date, before additional charges come into effect. However, after the grace period, be aware that interests rates may be a lot higher than usual.

Redemption Periods:

If a third party buys the lien to your property, your redemption period becomes active. The redemption period is usually two to three years. In that time, you’ll be given a final chance to pay your back taxes, including interest and redemption fees.

Hopefully, if you can make your payments, the investor renounces any claims on your property. However, if no payment is made throughout the period, the lienholder receives the title deed to your proper, which you must forfeit.

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Does The Irs Forgive Back Taxes

It is rare for the IRS to ever fully forgive tax debt, but acceptance into a forgiveness plan helps you avoid the expensive, credit-wrecking penalties that go along with owing tax debt. Your debt may be fully forgiven if you can prove hardship that qualifies you for Currently Non Collectible status.

Can The Irs Go Back 10 Years

As a general rule, there is a ten year statute of limitations on IRS collections. This means that the IRS can attempt to collect your unpaid taxes for up to ten years from the date they were assessed. Subject to some important exceptions, once the ten years are up, the IRS has to stop its collection efforts.

Read Also: What Is Gas Guzzler Tax

Federal Income Tax Return Calculator

Estimate how much youll owe in federal taxes, using your income, deductions and credits all in just a few steps with our tax calculator.

How we got here

The United States taxes income progressively, meaning that how much you make will place you within one of seven federal tax brackets:

Single filers

$995 plus 12% of the amount over $9,950

$4,664 plus 22% of the amount over $40,525

$14,751 plus 24% of the amount over $86,375

$33,603 plus 32% of the amount over $164,925

$47,843 plus 35% of the amount over $209,425

$157,804.25 plus 37% of the amount over $523,600

$1,990 plus 12% of the amount over $19,900

$9,328 plus 22% of the amount over $81,050

$29,502 plus 24% of the amount over $172,750

$67,206 plus 32% of the amount over $329,850

$95,686 plus 35% of the amount over $418,850

$168,993.50 plus 37% of the amount over $628,300

$995 plus 12% of the amount over $9,950

$4,664 plus 22% of the amount over $40,525

$14,751 plus 24% of the amount over $86,375

$33,603 plus 32% of the amount over $164,925

$47,843 plus 35% of the amount over $209,425

$84,496.75 plus 37% of the amount over $314,150

Head of household

$156,355 plus 37% of the amount over $523,600

You’ll Be Charged Penalties

What happens if you donât pay your taxes?

The IRS will also hit you where it hurts: Your wallet. Again, you’ll receive notice that you’re being hit with a penalty by mail, and there are a number of reasons that you could potentially incur a penalty.

But generally, for failing to file a tax return, penalties are calculated as such:

  • A failure to file penalty of 5% of the unpaid tax obligation for each month your return is late (won’t exceed 25% of total unpaid taxes.
  • A failure to pay penalty may also be applied .
  • The failure to file penalty will max out after five months.
  • After 60 days, you’ll owe a minimum Failure to File Penalty of $435, or “100% of the tax required to be shown on the return, whichever is less,” according to the IRS.

Also Check: Is Auto Insurance Tax Deductible

What To Do If You Can’t Pay Your Taxes

The first thing you should do if you cant pay your taxes is to acknowledge it and understand you have a lot of options. Dont fear the unknown, millions of people have been in the same situation and come out on the other side just fine. The following are the major steps to take if you cant pay your taxes.

Step One: File on Time

Even if you cant pay, you still need to file. If you have tax software you can use that, or work with a tax professional. A tax resolution expert may be able to find credits and deductions to lower your tax bill. When you owe the IRS, every dollar counts and filing your taxes late only makes things worse.

Remember, a tax extension does not give you more time to pay. It simply gives you more time to file. If you pay late, youll have to pay interest and penalties.

Step Two: Pay as Much as You Can

If you have extra savings its wise to tape into that. You can take out an equity loan on your home. Maybe you have an extra car you never use. Perhaps a family member can spot you the cash. Pay as much as you can now as it will save you on interest fees and build momentum.

If youre out of work and cant pay anything, thats okay. The IRS understands that you must take care of your basic living costs first.

Step Three: Consider an Installment Agreement

After the tax deadline passes, youll have another month or two before the IRS contacts you about the rest of your taxes owed. Keep paying what you can during that time.

Step Four: Hire a Tax Relief Expert

The Tax Authority Can Lien Certificate Sales

A tax lien certificate sale allows a purchaser to get favorable rates on the taxes owed along with penalties and interest and is generally more attractive than other types of investing in that it offers a greater return.

Tax lien certificate sales are much less common than tax foreclosure auctions. The Internal Revenue Service or IRS, cities, countries, and states rarely sell tax liens on the open auction block.

Key Fact: Although your property may have a federal tax lien imposed, did you know it is still possible to sell your house with an active lien?

Why do they sell them instead of foreclosing to collect the money owed? The answer is typically related to the fact that it takes time and money to foreclose when it’s not sure that you’ll get the money, so selling them can be a lot easier.

Tax lien certificate sales can be a great opportunity for investors looking for a unique investment to generate income. However, several important facts about tax lien certificate sales must be considered before investing.

Things to keep in mind: Rates and taxes on property vary across the states, and it is important to understand how you can save. There are usually benefits in capital gains, debt relief, and installment payments. Do in-depth research on property tax for any real estate property or land.

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Consequences Of Not Paying Taxes

Remember that paying taxes is a responsibility. Here are some of the things that might happen if you neglect this responsibility:

If you do not pay your tax due, IRS will charge a penalty and interest. You will end up paying more than just taxes.

  • Receive notices

IRS will send notices before they take any legal action. When you receive any such notices, see that you respond 30 to 60 days from receipt.

  • Forgo tax refund

Forget about your tax refund if you do not settle your tax obligation first.

  • Seize your social security

IRS will not hinder you from making a living, but it can seize your social security.

  • Tarnish your credit standing

Unpaid tax is like unsettled debt. If you have not paid your taxes, that information gets reflected in your credit report.

Tax obligation

Recovering The Debt Through County Court Proceedings Property And Pensions

Elliot Stonecipher Quotes

We can use County Court processes if you have assets to cover the debt and refuse to pay it.

In Scotland, a Summary Warrant can be used.

We will review your circumstances before deciding which of these options to use:

  • charging orders
  • personal equity plans
  • Individual Savings Accounts

Charging orders give creditors like HMRC the power to recover debts from the sale of a property:

  • when the customer who owns the property sells it
  • through a court action known as an order for sale, to force the customer to sell the property

In Northern Ireland, we can obtain a charging order over land or property through a civil court process by the Enforcement Judgement Office. Property charging orders do not apply in Scotland.

We do all we can to avoid forcing customers owing tax to sell their primary residence. We have only forced the sale of customers residences where the customer has either:

  • more than one property
  • been involved in criminal activity

We will not make you sell your main home to fund a loan charge or disguised remuneration tax bill.

If we try to recover a debt through property charging orders and orders for sale, the court will decide whether to grant the order.

We may also ask you to consider releasing equity from your property to either:

  • settle your debt quickly and reduce interest
  • shorten a Time to Pay Arrangement

Attachment of earnings orders

Third party debt orders

Third party debt orders only apply in England and Wales.

Pension payments

Recommended Reading: Free Tax Filing H& r Block

Realistic Tax Options If You Cant Pay Your Irs Tax Bill

Do you have a tax bill you cant afford to pay? Are you worried and wondering, what if I can’t pay my taxes? If you ignore the situation, it can get out of control quickly. However, the IRS is willing to work with most taxpayers who cant pay taxes in full. Many states also have resolution frameworks for taxpayers in need.

To help people who cannot afford to pay their taxes, the IRS and many states offer different resolution options. To qualify for many of these options, you must apply and meet specific criteria.

Heres a look at the most common options offered by the IRS as well as a few un-official options you may want to consider. The IRS usually requires that you file tax returns due before setting up an agreement with the IRS . Even if you cannot pay what your tax return states you owe, always file because the penalty for not doing so is 10x the penalty for not paying on time.

I Owe State Taxes And Can’t Pay

If you owe state taxes and can’t pay them, you have options. Most states offer payment plans as well as other tax relief options. Depending on the rules in your state, you may be able to apply for an offer in compromise, get innocent spouse relief, or qualify for hardship status. All of the states with income taxes offer different relief and payment options. So, it’s important to work with a tax professional who has an in-depth understanding of the rules in your state.

To learn more about what to do if you can’t afford to pay state taxes, check out TaxCure’s guide to state taxes. On this page, you’ll find links to pages with more information on state tax relief programs. Many of these pages have links to forms that you can use to apply for programs if you can’t afford to pay your state taxes. You can also use TaxCure to search for a local tax pro who has experience with unpaid taxes in your state.

Don’t Miss: Which States Have No Income Tax

Ask The Experts: Tips From Tax Pros

For additional insight regarding the steps consumers can take if they don’t have the funds to pay the IRS, we turned a panel of accounting and tax professors. You can check out their responses to the following questions below.

  • Do you have any tips for people who lack the funds needed to pay an upcoming tax obligation?
  • Is it ever a good idea to tap into a 401 or other retirement account to satisfy tax obligations?
  • What tips do you have for people who want to make sure they have enough money to pay their taxes in the future?
  • The Benefits Of Living In A State With No Income Tax Comes Down To Your Personal Finances

    TAXEDU Portal – What happens if you donât pay your taxes?

    Whether you should move to a state with no income tax depends on your personal financial situation and your individual priorities. Families with college-aged students might not want to move to a state with no income tax if it means paying more tuition. Meanwhile, if the bulk of your household budget goes toward groceries and clothing items that are sales taxable you might not save much money in the long run. States inheritance taxes should also be taken into consideration, especially if youre nearing retirement and hoping to eventually pass down an asset while considering a move.

    As the economy rebounds from the pandemic and remote work becomes increasingly more common, Americans might find that they can live and work in different places than they could before the outbreak. But if a state with no income tax has limited employment opportunities for your industry, you might want to hold off on relocating just so you can reduce much youre paying in taxes every year.

    At the same time, higher-income earners might benefit from living in a state with no income tax. And if you dont own property, you might not feel a big difference in your tax burden.

    You do see a trade-off when it comes to the major taxes that states levy, Loughead says. if youre a really high-income individual, youre probably going to think twice before living in a state with high income taxes, especially if theres a bordering state where you can reside in.

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    Get Your Taxes Done Right

    If you find yourself in a tax mess, an Endorsed Local Provider can help you get the IRS off your back. These tax pros know their stuff, and thats why theyre RamseyTrusted.

    If youre confident you can handle your taxes on your own and just want easy-to-use tax software, check out Ramsey SmartTax.

    About the author

    Ramsey Solutions

    Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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