Don’t fall behind on filing your taxes

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The failure to file a federal tax return can be costly.

The IRS recommends that taxpayers file their return as soon as possible and offers help, even with late returns. Some things to consider:

• Penalties and interest. A delay in filing may result in a late filing penalty, as well as a late payment penalty and interest charges. The longer the delay, the more these charges grow.

• Losing a refund. There is no penalty for failure to file for those due a refund. But those who wait too long to file may risk losing the refund altogether.
The deadline for claiming refunds is three years after the return due date. For example, the last day for claiming a refund for the 2008 tax return will be April 17.

• Earned Income Tax Credit. Individuals who are entitled to this credit must file their return to claim it, even if they are not otherwise required to file.
Requirements for filing a tax return depend upon a number of factors, including filing status, age and gross income.