Why Many Tax Scofflaws Will Get Off Scot-Free

Not filing your taxes on time can be costly, but many people won't owe an extra penny. Find out why.

Dan Caplinger
Dan Caplinger
Apr 18, 2014 at 9:35AM
Investment Planning

April 15 has come and gone, and most Americans have either filed their federal tax returns or gotten an extension. If you did neither, the consequences can be disastrous. But for some, there will be absolutely no downside to missing the April 15 deadline.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, explains why some people who ignore the April 15 tax filing deadline escape without paying anything extra. Dan notes that those who don't file generally owe interest and penalties on the amount of tax they owe. But he points out that if you're due a refund, then the way the IRS calculates interest and penalties leads to a $0 amount. Dan concludes that although you'll still want to file your return sooner than later in order to receive your refund faster, many people in that situation don't have the same pressure to file on time that those who actually owe additional tax face.