What happens if you don’t pay your taxes?

Learn about the consequences of not paying your taxes, including steep fines and penalties, and how to get help.


How to avoid getting into trouble with the IRS

Don’t forget about your taxes! Source: Canva.

Taxes. Just a mere word can make people shudder and start to break out into a sweat. Wondering what happens if they don’t pay their taxes on time. 

But no matter how stressful it can be to think about, not paying your taxes is never a good idea. In fact, it could have serious financial and legal consequences. 

In this blog post, we’ll look in-depth at what happens when you don’t pay your taxes. Also, the steps you can take to avoid getting into deep trouble with the IRS or other government bodies that collect taxes. 

track IRS tax refund

How to track your IRS tax refund

Worried about your refund? Don't be. Stay up-to-date on your return status with these easy steps.

Here’s what happens when you don’t pay your taxes

Did you know skipping out on taxes could lead to serious legal issues? That’s right – failing to pay your tax obligations can have serious legal repercussions. 

All citizens must understand the consequences of not paying taxes. As there are numerous fines and potentially even jail time for willful neglect or fraud. 

Whether you’re a small business owner, freelancer, or wage earner, every taxpayer is responsible for filing and paying their taxes accurately and on time each year. This blog post will examine what happens if you don’t pay. So keep reading to learn more!

What happens if you can’t pay your taxes?

If you don’t pay your taxes, you can get in trouble. Source: Canva.

If you can’t pay your taxes on time, it’s important to know that the IRS can hit you with some hefty penalties and interest charges. 

Depending on the situation, you could face a maximum penalty of 47.5% of your dues. Including late filing and payment fees. 

As for how much extra you have to pay for not honoring tax due dates. It varies between individuals, with the IRS considering factors such as overdue duration. 

To recoup unpaid taxes, the IRS may also try to collect via tax liens, levies, private debt collectors, and passport denial and suspension. 

Don’t let tax issues get out of hand – keep on top of due payments to avoid unnecessary complications!

What happens if you file your taxes late?

If you don’t file your taxes on time, it can have serious consequences. You must pay late fees and hefty penalties for not submitting when due. 

And even if the IRS owes you a refund, that money will lapse after three years if you don’t file on time. 

The best thing you can do is submit your tax return even if you can’t afford to cover the full amount – the sooner you do it, the better!

The IRS encourages everyone to “submit a tax return and pay any amount owed as soon as possible” – it could save you from bigger problems.

What to do if you can’t pay your taxes

See what you can do in case you’re unable to pay your taxes. Source: Canva.

It happens to the best of us. But not all hope is lost. According to the IRS, if you’re in a pinch, you can reduce penalty and interest amounts by immediately paying as much as possible. 

Check to make sure it works for your budget, but it might be worth considering relying on a loan with fees and interest rates lower than those from the IRS, such as from a credit card, bank loan, or home equity loan. 

If that’s out of reach for you, there are other options like payment extensions, installment plans, or even settling your debt through an offer in compromise. 

1. Payment extensions

The IRS may offer payment extensions, so don’t hesitate to apply. Form 4868 grants an extension of up to six months if the due date is too soon.

If it happens that you’re facing an undue hardship to pay your taxes on time, there’s also Form 1127. Which can provide payment relief for longer. 

In extreme cases, like disaster victims or those serving overseas, the IRS may even delay the collection of taxes due so that basic living expenses can still be paid. 

So explore what options suit your situation, and with some paperwork, you can rest assured that the IRS won’t come after you if there’s a real need for an extension.

2. Payment plans

If you need a bit of extra time to pay your taxes, an IRS payment plan might provide some relief. This happens to us all occasionally, and the IRS gives you options regarding payment plans. 

Short-term plans can cover tax bills up to $100,000 and give you 180 days for repayment. 

Long-term payment plans are for up to $50,000 and involve monthly payments with a one-time setup fee (which could be reduced or waived for low-income taxpayers). 

To qualify, simply apply online at the IRS website; they’ll review your info and let you know if you’re eligible.

3. Offers in compromise

If you happen to find yourself in a situation where paying your full tax bill simply isn’t an option, the IRS offers the offer in compromise (OIC) as one way to settle your tax debt for less than the amount owed. 

OIC is based on factors such as your ability to pay, income, expenses, and assets. Check out their OIC Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you meet the eligibility requirements. 

It’s worth considering – why pay more when you can pay less?

Taking proactive steps could make all the difference!

Tax season 2023: everything you need to know

It’s time to start thinking about tax season 2023! Whether it’s your first year filing taxes or you’re an experienced filer looking for new tips and tricks to save money, understanding the ins and outs of the US tax system can be taxing. 

Thankfully, we’ve put all the information you need in one place. In the following blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on taxes. 

From who is required to file to what forms are needed and how deductions work, you can rest assured that your 2023 taxes will be in order. Ready? Let’s get started!

tax season 2023

Tax season 2023: everything you need to know

Filing your taxes can be confusing! But we're here to help. This blog post will overview everything related to tax season 2023.

About the author  /  Vinicius Barbosa

Vinicius Barbosa is a writer of finance-related content on this portal. Graduated in Social Communication, he writes about everything that involves the world of finances, from credit card recommendations to investment tips, for readers who want to make better decisions when it comes time to spend their money or invest wisely.

Trending Topics


Does leasing a car help build credit?

Leasing a new car can actually be an effective tool to build your credit score. Here's why and some tips on how to use it effectively.

Keep Reading

Unlock the Benefits of One Key Rewards: Enhancing Your Online Shopping Experience

Unlock a world of exclusive privileges with One Key Rewards! Discover how this dynamic loyalty program enhances your daily life!

Keep Reading

Retailers have a new headache for holiday season

Retailers have a new challenge ahead. As the holidays approach, consumers are more interested in traveling than shopping.

Keep Reading

You may also like


Some habits might be affecting your sleep quality

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night? If so, check out these bad habits that might be affecting your sleep quality and how to fix them.

Keep Reading

Who has the most Grammys? The top 10 winners

Wondering who has won the most Grammys ever? We've got the answer for you - and it's probably not who you are thinking! Read on for more!

Keep Reading

Top 5 easiest sports to play: find the right one for you

Looking for a sport to play? Here are the top 5 easiest sports that you can easily learn and get started with.

Keep Reading