Didn't file your taxes on time? Here's what will happen to you

taxes
taxes

I am one of the world's leading procrastinators. Last night I finished and hit "transmit" on my E-filed taxes at exactly 11:59 p.m. I had planned to do my taxes in February, of course, and then... all of the sudden it was April 15th, and it was nearly midnight. What some people do for an adrenaline rush, hmmm?

But in previous years I've done far worse. Last year I managed to get my Federal taxes to the post office by 11:56 p.m. on tax day... my Federal taxes for 2005. It wasn't until a few days later that I finished my Federal and state taxes for 2006, and my state taxes for 2005. So I know exactly what happens to a person who doesn't file her (or his) taxes on time.

Did you miss the deadline? Did you forget to file an extension, or just not get around to it? Are you, too, a tax delinquent? Firstly: take a deep breath. No one is going to throw you in prison for sending in your taxes a few days late. They won't even call or write, not for several months (and, if you haven't filed in previous years, they could never call or write, depending on whether or not you have had income reported to government agencies). If you manage to get them in a reasonable time frame (less than six months), you'll just be paying a small penalty and interest (if you owe taxes), as much as 4.5% and more if your taxes are more than 60 days late (at least $100, or a penalty equal to the whole amount you owe, whichever is smaller).

What if you're owed a refund?

Your resource on tax filing
Tax season is here! Check out the Tax Center on AOL Finance for all the tips and tools you need to maximize your return.
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