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Taxation Law Online

ZipLaw Gold CDYou may be in the same situation as many people who neglect to file their taxes for years on end. At first, you probably expected to catch up when financial times were better. Now, with years of delinquent taxes piled up, the task seems too daunting to tackle.

Failing to pay your past due taxes is technically a misdemeanor, for which you can be fined for each delinquent tax year and possibly sent to prison. But the tax department is much more interested in getting you to pay your taxes than sending you to prison. So the tax department doesn't prosecute anyone who comes forward voluntarily to remedy the problem, unless there are signs of blatant fraud.

The tax department will, however, charge you penalties and interest for any tax you may end up owing for previous years. The “good” news is that the tax department can't assess penalties higher than 25 percent of the tax due for a particular year. But interest continues to accrue on top of the penalties, and adds up pretty quickly, especially for taxes several years overdue.

You may be able to persuade the tax department to cut down on the penalties owed if you can prove you had reasonable cause not to have filed your tax return(s).

The first step in straighten out a past due income tax mess is picking up the phone and calling the tax department. They'll want such personal identifying information as your name, address and social security number- as well as information about your employer and current salary- before they'll discuss your delinquent tax returns with you.

The tax department will want you to commit to a definite time by which you'll promise to file all delinquent returns. If you find you’re having trouble meeting this deadline because it's taking longer than you thought to get your paperwork together, it's best to call the tax department ahead of time to request an extension.

Once you've filed all your returns, the tax department can tell you how much tax you owe, and the exact amount of penalties and interest. At that point, you can set up a payment plan or discuss an offer of compromise with the tax department.


DATES TO REMEMBER

INCOME TAX
Annual Income Tax Returns and Final Payments are due on March 15.

Annual Estimated Returns are due on March 15.

Annual Estimated Income Tax should be paid quarterly by March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15.


EMPLOYERS
Employer's Annual Returns are due on January 14.

P.A.Y.E. tax deducted is due 14 days after the end of each month.

GCT
Monthly & bi-monthly returns must be filed by the last day of the month following the period for which the returns are being made.


PROPERTY TAX
Payments are due on April 1.


EDUCATION TAX
Employers and self-employed individuals are reminded to make their monthly payments by the 14th day of each month.

Employer's Annual Returns are due on January 14.

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