What to Do If You Haven’t Filed an Income Tax Return

Filing a past due return may not be as difficult as you think.

Taxpayers should file all tax returns that are due, regardless of whether full payment can be made with the return. Depending on an individual’s circumstances, a taxpayer filing late may qualify for a payment plan. It is important, however, to know that full payment of taxes upfront saves you money.

Here’s What to Do When Your Return Is Late

Gather Past Due Return Information

Gather return information and come see us. You should bring any and all information related to income and deductions for the tax years for which a return is required to be filed.

Payment Options – Ways to Make a Payment

There are several different ways to make a payment on your taxes. Payments can be made by credit card, electronic funds transfer, check, money order, cashier’s check, or cash.

Payment Options – For Those Who Can’t Pay in Full

Taxpayers unable to pay all taxes due on the bill are encouraged to pay as much as possible. By paying as much as possible now, the amount of interest and penalties owed will be lessened. Based on the circumstances, a taxpayer could qualify for an extension of time to pay, an installment agreement, a temporary delay, or an offer in compromise.

Taxpayers who need more time to pay can set up either a short-term payment extension or a monthly payment plan.

  • A short-term extension gives a taxpayer up to 120 days to pay. No fee is charged, but the late-payment penalty plus interest will apply.
  • A monthly payment plan or installment agreement gives a taxpayer more time to pay. However, penalties and interest will continue to be charged on the unpaid portion of the debt throughout the duration of the installment agreement/payment plan. In terms of how to pay your tax bill, it is important to review all your options; the interest rate on a loan or credit card may be lower than the combination of penalties and interest imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. You should pay as much as possible before entering into an installment agreement.
  • A user fee will also be charged if the installment agreement is approved. The fee, normally $105, is reduced to $52 if taxpayers agree to make their monthly payments electronically through electronic funds withdrawal. The fee is $43 for eligible low-and-moderate-income taxpayers.

What Will Happen If You Don’t File Your Past Due Return or Contact the IRS

It’s important to understand the ramifications of not filing a past due return and the steps that the IRS will take. Taxpayers who continue to not file a required return and fail to respond to IRS requests for a return may be considered for a variety of enforcement actions.

If you haven’t filed a tax return yet, please contact us. We’re here to help!

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Last Day of Disability Insurance Awareness Month

Today is May 31st, the last day of “Disability Insurance Awareness Month”…Let’s end the month off with a story about Valerie King and how Disability Insurance Saves a Family—Twice.

When Valerie King transitioned from her medical residency to practicing as an emergency room physician, her group disability plan was going about to terminate so she converted her plan to an individual disability policy. Although Valerie never thought she would need it, a condition called ulcerative colitis made the decision for her. The disease and a series of surgeries made it impossible for her to carry out her duties, and she found herself unable to practice the profession she loved. It was her disability insurance that allowed her to survive financially and care for her three young daughters who she was raising as a single mother.

Life also had a second chapter for Valerie. She met and married Tim, also a divorced parent. They looked forward to raising their blended family together and sought the advice of insurance professional Larry Ricke, CLU, ChFC. In addition to the life insurance he had recommended, Larry made sure Tim understood the importance of disability insurance. Tim didn’t believe he’d ever need it, but with Valerie’s urging he finally agreed to get coverage.

“No one thinks lightening will strike twice,” says Larry, “but in this case it did.” Tim, who had a high-profile position in the printing business, came close to dying from an undiagnosed aneurism and valve issue with his heart. A risky operation saved his life but ultimately left him unable to return to work. Again, disability insurance made it possible for the family to go on financially. “We didn’t have to put a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard or make any drastic lifestyle changes that would have been forced on us without that coverage,” says Tim.

“Most people think, ‘It will never happen to me,’” says Valerie. “But the truth is it can—and does. Everything else goes away if you don’t have disability insurance coverage and you can’t work.”

You can watch the family video online here – Valerie King Video

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Think Disability Insurance

Contact Our Office Today to Get Your Protection – 800-560-4637

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Safeguarding Your Income From the Impact of a Disability

Decades ago, the traditional family unit consisted of a husband and wife with 2.5 children. Most women were stay-at-home mothers, able to call on extended family members in case illness or injury affected their abilities to care for their children.

But these days, there is no longer a “traditional” family unit (and by extension, an extended support network), as the following figures attest:

  • In 2010, 43.6% of all U.S. residents 18 and older were unmarried—more than half of them women—while the elderly comprised 16.5% of all unmarried and single people 18 and older.
  • 45% of households nationwide were maintained by unmarried men or women, while number of single parents living with their children in 2010 reached 11.7 million. (Almost a third of grandparents are raising their grandchildren.)
  • There were 6.5 million unmarried-partner households, which included 581,300 same-sex couples.
  • Finally, the number of people who lived alone totaled 31.4 million in 2010, comprising 27% of all households—up from 17% in 1970.

What does this mean to you? Well, if you fall into one of the above categories—a single parent or grandparent raising a child, an adult living alone, or an unmarried couple—you need to do a little “worst case scenario” thinking. Specifically: should you experience an illness or injury that results in a disability (temporary or permanent), what type of impact will that have not only on your finances, but also on anyone who depends on you?


During Disability Insurance Awareness Month, educate yourself about the reality of the impact a disability can have on your budget—and your life.

Disability coverage facts

If you think you have your bases covered with health insurance, worker’s compensation or Social Security, the following information might change your mind.

  • While health insurance will cover medical-related expenses, it won’t provide an income to cover your needs if you are unable to work even for a relatively short period of time.
  • Worker’s compensation coverage only comes into play if the disability is job-related—which only happens in about 5% of the cases, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. (If you’re playing the odds, you might want to reconsider, since 30% of those entering the workforce today will be disabled for three months or more during their career, with the average long-term disability claim lasts 31.2 months.)
  • While Social Security provides coverage, qualifying for benefits can be challenging (60% are initially denied) and, at a little over $1,100 a month, the average monthly payment is barely above poverty level.

In the meantime, bills keep mounting up and your financial situation becomes even more precarious. According to one study, more than 62% of bankruptcies in 2007 were due to medical issues—a significant increase from the 2001 figure of 46.2%.

Fortunately, you do have several options to help safeguard yourself and those who depend on you. Employer-sponsored coverage (short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, or both) can replace a significant percentage of your income—possibly up to 40% to 60% of your pre-tax income. (In a few states, employees can also purchase additional short-term disability coverage on their own, paid for through payroll deductions.)

If you are self-employed or want a stronger safety net, an individual disability insurance policy is the best choice. Start by calculating the amount of income you would need to maintain your current standard of living in the event you’re unable to work. Then, look at your life and work situation. Do you have children, a spouse or an elderly relative who depends on you for support? Is there a cap on the benefits available through your employer—and are you getting close to that level? Finally, has your standard of living increased or you have taken on a significant amount of new debt?

Once you have a clearer picture of your “worst case scenario,” schedule a meeting with your insurance advisor to review your disability insurance purchase options: through your employer, a professional organization or on your own. This will help you make the best decision for your budget, your future and those who are part of your “family unit.” For more disability information, simply call our office today to see how we can help you get your protection today – 800-560-4637.

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