April 15th is the best-known tax deadline, but for some taxpayers, it’s just the beginning. Many people who owe past year tax payments to the IRS imagine a long and difficult process, fraught with legal complications. But it’s not nearly as bad as it might sound.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the IRS wants you to pay your past year tax — so they’re not going to make it difficult. In fact, there are several established ways to work with the IRS to get your taxes paid:
- You can call them directly and discuss your situation with an IRS representative. Although it’s a good way to get the discussion started, it’s not the best way to get your money’s worth. They don’t have much of an incentive to reduce your past year tax liability, and they may not know all the ins and outs of minimizing your liability (or maximizing your refund).
- You can try to file late online, but you’ll find that they don’t make it easy. In fact, the IRS insists on getting a paper filing if you file late. Not to be difficult, and not because it’s more efficient, but just because they haven’t gotten around to letting people pay past year tax money online.
- You can use a tax preparation site. This is one of the best ways to pay your past year tax online. You can’t actually e-file past year tax forms, but you can do the next best thing: fill out the form online, with real-time help, and then print it up and mail it in. It’s the simplest way to get your past year tax problem taken care of.
Of course, it’s not so simple. But filing your taxes never is. The forms you’ll fill out to pay your past year tax will be a little more complicated, but not by much. And since it’s the same information you’d need to file normally, you won’t have to do any extra work when you file online.