Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

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bantam222
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Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by bantam222 » Fri May 31, 2019 2:27 am

Hello

I have just found out my partner never paid her taxes - she filed her tax return and owes around $4,000 but forgot to make the payment.

My question is, what are our next steps? The money is not a problem - we just forgot to pay (long story -- taxes were handled by 3rd party and she assumed they would take care of processing the payment as well). Obviously send in the money owed ASAP. I see we may owe penalties as well - how do we calculate / pay those? I searched online and could not find a conclusive answer. Should we just pay what we originally owned, and then let the IRS follow up with additional fines? Or do we need to proactively pay what we own + fines to avoid them from occurring further? Are there any additional forms we need to file?

Thanks!

MTF
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by MTF » Fri May 31, 2019 3:43 am

I’m not in the USA but it seems to me that you are overthinking this - massively. It’s $4,000. I would just pay the tax. If there is some amount owing in penalties, no doubt they’ll follow up. If they do, pay the penalties. If not, no problem. This is a problem that is unlikely to require the collective input of a forum of people.

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8foot7
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by 8foot7 » Fri May 31, 2019 5:02 am

MTF wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:43 am
I’m not in the USA but it seems to me that you are overthinking this - massively. It’s $4,000. I would just pay the tax. If there is some amount owing in penalties, no doubt they’ll follow up. If they do, pay the penalties. If not, no problem. This is a problem that is unlikely to require the collective input of a forum of people.
This. Just send in the check and wait for the mail.

furwut
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by furwut » Fri May 31, 2019 5:32 am

Review the instructions from the tax form on how to send in the payment. Things like writing for Tax Year 20XX and SSN on the Check and including the payment coupon.

In a few months you’ll possibly get a letter asking you to pay any small penalty and interest due because of the late payment.

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nisiprius
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by nisiprius » Fri May 31, 2019 5:33 am

If it's only a few months--it was $4,000 and due in April--a very reasonable answer is just to mail the payment that you were supposed to pay--just mail it in late--and do nothing. In another few months you will probably get a mailed robo-letter from the IRS stating what you owe in interest and penalties; pay it then. Because this is probably what happens most often it is probably what they are best set up to do, with the least chance of anything getting confused or going wrong. It's probably best NOT to jump the gun by trying to calculate interest and penalties yourself, that kind of helpfulness sometimes backfires.

Be sure to follow their directions exactly on how to make the payment, where to mail it, put both your taxpaper ID number and what form and calendar year it's for, such as "Form 1040, 2018"--exactly what it says at the top of the form--because you don't want any questions or issues about having this payment credited. If you are paying by check, in a couple of weeks or whenever you see online that the check has been paid, contact the bank if necessary to get a printed copy of both the front and back of the cancelled check. At my bank I can do this myself online, but if you're not sure how, call them.

This is not a big deal and in my limited experience the IRS is not deliberately mean or nasty, what they want in their heart of hearts is for taxpayers to pay them the correct amount.

By the way, the robo-letter you get saying "you owe us $78.32" is, in fact, an audit--a "mail audit." People often get unreasonably fearful of being "audited."
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DarkHelmetII
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by DarkHelmetII » Fri May 31, 2019 5:51 am

nisiprius wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:33 am
It's probably best NOT to jump the gun by trying to calculate interest and penalties yourself, that kind of helpfulness sometimes backfires.
Agreed. While I have not been in this *exact* same situation with the IRS, having been the recipient of several auto-generated / "rule-driven" IRS mailings, totally makes sense to me to not stir the hornet's nest, just wait for them to give you a bill for the penalty & interest.

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Harry Livermore
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by Harry Livermore » Fri May 31, 2019 6:15 am

Agree. Just pay the $4K. They will tell you what you need to send beyond that. It is what it is.
Cheers

3-20Characters
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by 3-20Characters » Fri May 31, 2019 6:20 am

nisiprius wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:33 am
By the way, the robo-letter you get saying "you owe us $78.32" is, in fact, an audit--a "mail audit." People often get unreasonably fearful of being "audited."
Interesting. I always pay early so I’ve never encountered this but it’s good to remember. I just paid my Q2 estimated taxes. I usually wait to get closer to the deadline but I couldn’t contain myself. :|

OP, you’ve gotten good responses. In my dealings with both IRS and state tax commissioner, I’ve found that they’re not out to hassle people who are intent on paying their taxes just because of an error (although you do have pay the penalty and that’s only fair). You might consider this for future payments.
https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay

Or...

https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/direct/EftpsHome.page

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Wiggums
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by Wiggums » Fri May 31, 2019 6:24 am

DarkHelmetII wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:51 am
nisiprius wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 5:33 am
It's probably best NOT to jump the gun by trying to calculate interest and penalties yourself, that kind of helpfulness sometimes backfires.
Agreed. While I have not been in this *exact* same situation with the IRS, having been the recipient of several auto-generated / "rule-driven" IRS mailings, totally makes sense to me to not stir the hornet's nest, just wait for them to give you a bill for the penalty & interest.
+1

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Stinky
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by Stinky » Fri May 31, 2019 6:26 am

Agreed with other advice. Don't overthink this. Pay the balance due with the tax return now.

The wheels of the IRS grind slowly, but they do grind along. You'll get a letter in a few months, asking for more money. Pay it then.

The good news is - I expect that you'll never make this mistake again .... :happy
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

Cheyenne
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by Cheyenne » Fri May 31, 2019 6:30 am

Some years ago I mailed my tax return and payment via Registered Mail prior to April 15th and soon received the signed Registered Mail receipt. I then noticed that my check wasn't presented for a few weeks, and I received a letter and a bill from the IRS stating that I paid late and owed a small penalty. I was going to challenge them with the Registered Mail receipt but my Post Master said they wouldn't honor it anyway, so I just paid the bill and considered it go-away money. That was the end of it.

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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by Trader Joe » Fri May 31, 2019 8:20 am

bantam222 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:27 am
Hello

I have just found out my partner never paid her taxes - she filed her tax return and owes around $4,000 but forgot to make the payment.

My question is, what are our next steps? The money is not a problem - we just forgot to pay (long story -- taxes were handled by 3rd party and she assumed they would take care of processing the payment as well). Obviously send in the money owed ASAP. I see we may owe penalties as well - how do we calculate / pay those? I searched online and could not find a conclusive answer. Should we just pay what we originally owned, and then let the IRS follow up with additional fines? Or do we need to proactively pay what we own + fines to avoid them from occurring further? Are there any additional forms we need to file?

Thanks!
Mail the check asap.

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rh00p
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by rh00p » Fri May 31, 2019 8:29 am

Once many years ago when I first did my own taxes I failed to include my schedule D and received an audit in the mail. I called the IRS and the rep was quite friendly and helpful. Not the evil demons they're made out to be. $4K is small change. Add a few zeros then be nervous.
Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.

spectec
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by spectec » Fri May 31, 2019 8:44 am

She's going to get a bill for the $4,000, plus about $40 per month for the time the tax remains unpaid since Apr 15, 2019. The $40 per month is a combination of a Failure to Pay penalty of 1/2 of 1% per month plus interest at a 6% APR. (These are approximations).

She can send the $4,000 now and hope IRS matches up the payment with the proper return and year, then pay the small remaining balance when the notice arrives. She could also send $4,080 and will eventually get a bill for any remaining balance due (or small refund, as the case may be). She can do either of these electronically as well.

She can also wait a week or two for the letter which is coming soon. It will show the balance due plus the iRS calculation of P&I. The nice thing about waiting for the letter is she will know the exact amount to pay and she can be done with it in a single transaction. It will also make it easier for IRS to properly credit the payment since the check will be accompanied by an official IRS payment document. (Less opportunity for someone to make an error in crediting the payment). Personally, I'd be inclined to take this approach because sometimes its worth a few extra dollars of P&I to be sure the finalizing transaction goes smoothly.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

vtjon02
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by vtjon02 » Fri May 31, 2019 8:58 am

Having had multiple problems with the IRS losing things that were mailed in, I'd suggest making the payment electronically with IRS Direct Pay:

https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay

I'd also just tack on a trivial amount, say 100-200 dollars, to cover the projected penalty. You will get a refund in the mail in a few months and then don't have to worry about it or pay the penalty in the future.

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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by LadyGeek » Fri May 31, 2019 9:22 am

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (taxes).

vtjon02, Welcome!
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jebmke
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by jebmke » Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am

vtjon02 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:58 am
Having had multiple problems with the IRS losing things that were mailed in, I'd suggest making the payment electronically with IRS Direct Pay:

https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay

I'd also just tack on a trivial amount, say 100-200 dollars, to cover the projected penalty. You will get a refund in the mail in a few months and then don't have to worry about it or pay the penalty in the future.
This is the fastest way to do a one-off. EFTPS is probably the most robust since it requires setup and links your account but it takes time. Sending checks to the IRS is the least reliable and secure way to transfer money.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

MarkRoulo
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by MarkRoulo » Fri May 31, 2019 9:30 am

bantam222 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:27 am
Hello

I have just found out my partner never paid her taxes - she filed her tax return and owes around $4,000 but forgot to make the payment.

My question is, what are our next steps? The money is not a problem - we just forgot to pay (long story -- taxes were handled by 3rd party and she assumed they would take care of processing the payment as well). Obviously send in the money owed ASAP. I see we may owe penalties as well - how do we calculate / pay those? I searched online and could not find a conclusive answer. Should we just pay what we originally owned, and then let the IRS follow up with additional fines? Or do we need to proactively pay what we own + fines to avoid them from occurring further? Are there any additional forms we need to file?

Thanks!
First, be calm.

Second, mail in the check. If you want include a note apologizing for forgetting.

I forgot about a stock sale a few years ago and the IRS eventually sent me a note asking for a lot of money (they used a basis of $0). Their note included instructions for disputing the requested money. I ignored the dispute form, wrote back explaining that I had forgotten the account (true!), included my statement with basis prices and asked them to recalculate the bill pluslate fee. I got another note back with the correct value and paid it. No harm done.

lkar
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by lkar » Fri May 31, 2019 9:43 am

I’m a very small sample size but I would probably wait just a little bit longer. I know this is not the majority view, but the one time I tried to be proactive with the IRS it was a mess. Do the expected thing and wait until you get a letter and then follow it exactly. The IRS seems set up to anticipate certain behavior and to get a bit wonky when things go off the script. If no letter comes in the next couple of months then reconsider or perhaps actually visit an IRS service center if you have one where a real human will make the proper notes in the account.

Again, small sample size but having the right notes is worth it in weird situations.

spectec
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by spectec » Fri May 31, 2019 9:24 pm

lkar wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:43 am
I’m a very small sample size but I would probably wait just a little bit longer. I know this is not the majority view, but the one time I tried to be proactive with the IRS it was a mess. Do the expected thing and wait until you get a letter and then follow it exactly. The IRS seems set up to anticipate certain behavior and to get a bit wonky when things go off the script. If no letter comes in the next couple of months then reconsider or perhaps actually visit an IRS service center if you have one where a real human will make the proper notes in the account.

Again, small sample size but having the right notes is worth it in weird situations.
+1. This is exactly right. IRS follows procedures. Depart from those procedures and you run the risk of the transaction falling into a black hole.

There will be a polite letter coming within the next 2-3 weeks stating the exact amount she owes, including a (relatively) small penalty & interest assessment if paid within a couple of weeks. Pay that and you're one-and-done.
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

lkar
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by lkar » Fri May 31, 2019 9:35 pm

spectec wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:24 pm
lkar wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:43 am
I’m a very small sample size but I would probably wait just a little bit longer. I know this is not the majority view, but the one time I tried to be proactive with the IRS it was a mess. Do the expected thing and wait until you get a letter and then follow it exactly. The IRS seems set up to anticipate certain behavior and to get a bit wonky when things go off the script. If no letter comes in the next couple of months then reconsider or perhaps actually visit an IRS service center if you have one where a real human will make the proper notes in the account.

Again, small sample size but having the right notes is worth it in weird situations.
+1. This is exactly right. IRS follows procedures. Depart from those procedures and you run the risk of the transaction falling into a black hole.

There will be a polite letter coming within the next 2-3 weeks stating the exact amount she owes, including a (relatively) small penalty & interest assessment if paid within a couple of weeks. Pay that and you're one-and-done.
It looks like you had actually already beaten me to the point earlier in the thread! Sorry about that. Glad at least one person agrees.

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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by TropikThunder » Fri May 31, 2019 10:06 pm

jebmke wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:27 am
vtjon02 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:58 am
Having had multiple problems with the IRS losing things that were mailed in, I'd suggest making the payment electronically with IRS Direct Pay:

https://www.irs.gov/payments/direct-pay

I'd also just tack on a trivial amount, say 100-200 dollars, to cover the projected penalty. You will get a refund in the mail in a few months and then don't have to worry about it or pay the penalty in the future.
This is the fastest way to do a one-off. EFTPS is probably the most robust since it requires setup and links your account but it takes time. Sending checks to the IRS is the least reliable and secure way to transfer money.
+1. Amazes me that in 2019 people still snail mail a paper check (with Registered Mail - Delivery Confirmation!) when they could pay online, for free, with the same checking account information and immediately get an electronic receipt. Would have taken less time than writing the original post on here too. :P

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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by whodidntante » Fri May 31, 2019 10:10 pm

TropikThunder wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:06 pm

+1. Amazes me that in 2019 people still snail mail a paper check (with Registered Mail - Delivery Confirmation!) when they could pay online, for free, with the same checking account information and immediately get an electronic receipt. Would have taken less time than writing the original post on here too. :P
One could also pay taxes with a credit card.
viewtopic.php?t=276677

spectec
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by spectec » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:11 am

lkar wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:35 pm
spectec wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:24 pm
lkar wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:43 am
I’m a very small sample size but I would probably wait just a little bit longer. I know this is not the majority view, but the one time I tried to be proactive with the IRS it was a mess. Do the expected thing and wait until you get a letter and then follow it exactly. The IRS seems set up to anticipate certain behavior and to get a bit wonky when things go off the script. If no letter comes in the next couple of months then reconsider or perhaps actually visit an IRS service center if you have one where a real human will make the proper notes in the account.

Again, small sample size but having the right notes is worth it in weird situations.
+1. This is exactly right. IRS follows procedures. Depart from those procedures and you run the risk of the transaction falling into a black hole.

There will be a polite letter coming within the next 2-3 weeks stating the exact amount she owes, including a (relatively) small penalty & interest assessment if paid within a couple of weeks. Pay that and you're one-and-done.
It looks like you had actually already beaten me to the point earlier in the thread! Sorry about that. Glad at least one person agrees.
You and I agree because we're both right. :)
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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ClevrChico
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Re: Forgot to mail check to IRS for taxes ($4000) - what now

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:34 am

They should create an account on https://www.irs.gov/ which should show how much is owed and pay electronically. They should be able to get this taken care of in about 20 minutes.

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