Tips for Tax Procrastinators: Pay what you owe now


If you're pretty sure that you're going to owe the IRS or the state, it's important to send in your payment as soon as possible. When you're delaying filing your taxes, it's tempting to also delay paying the taxes you know you'll owe.

But delaying paying your taxes only increases the pain. In reality, the tax money is due in quarterly installments throughout the tax year. If you haven't sent in those quarterly payments, you've been accruing some interest and penalties. And each day you wait to pay now is another day of penalties and interest.

It's important to pay your taxes as soon as possible to stop the interest and penalties from adding up. The bad news is that you never get out of your tax debts. Barring unusual circumstances or a settlement with the IRS, you're going to have to keep paying them so long as you owe them tax money. The good news? You can stop the pain by paying now.

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Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.