Expecting a Tax Refund? Don’t Worry About Missing the Filing Deadline

There is no rule that penalizes a taxpayer for filing their tax return after the deadline if the taxpayer is getting a refund.

Apr 26, 2014 at 12:28PM

Tax Day has come and it's no surprise that today happens to be one of the busiest days of the tax season. But, if you are expecting to receive a tax refund this year, you don't have to join the other procrastinating taxpayers who rushing in their tax returns.

It has been instilled in our heads that tax returns must be filed by April 15. Many people are unaware that this deadline doesn't apply to taxpayers who are owed a refund. Understandably, the IRS is more concerned about collecting taxes that doling out refunds.

So, there is no rule that penalizes a taxpayer for filing their tax return after the deadline if the taxpayer is getting a refund.

However, it doesn't mean that you should delay the filing of your tax returns — you won't get that refund if you don't file. Additionally, your refund is forfeited to the government if you don't claim it within three years of the original filing due date. You have until April 15, 2017 to claim your refund for the 2013 tax year.

Penalties for being late
The penalty for missing the filing deadline and failing to pay on time is 5 percent of the owed taxes for each month past the deadline. If you file more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or 100 percent of the owed taxes, whichever is smaller.

Even with a tax-filing extension, which pushes the filing deadline to Oct. 15, you'll still have to pay at least 90 percent of the due taxes by today to avoid failure-to-pay penalties.

See if you'll get a refund
To see if you're going to get a refund (and if you can file after the deadline without a penalty), use one of the many free tax-refund calculators that are available from tax-preparation companies, such as those from TurboTax and H&R Block.

While these calculators will provide a general picture of your tax situation, you cannot be absolutely sure that you are getting a refund until you file your return.

If you can make it by the deadline, you have nothing to worry about.

The earlier that you receive your refund, the sooner you can put that money in a retirement account or savings account.

Take advantage of this little-known tax "loophole"
Recent tax increases have affected nearly every American taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes and potentially even lower your tax bill. In our brand-new special report "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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