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Psst … Tax day is here and the IRS won't forget (w/video)

The calendar shows April 15, and you haven't even started on your federal tax return? Chances are, you don't need to fret. • If you're due a refund — and about three-fourths of filers get refunds — April 15 isn't much of a deadline at all. • The Internal Revenue Service doesn't like to talk about it, but penalties for filing late federal tax returns apply only to people who owe money. The penalty is a percentage of what you owe. If you owe nothing, 5 percent of nothing is … nothing!

If you need more time

File Form 4868 to get a six-month extension, no explanation necessary. You won't be alone. The IRS expects 12 million extension requests.

Penalties for not filing

The failure-to-file penalty is generally 5 percent of your unpaid tax bill for every month, or part of a month, you are late. It kicks in on April 16. In general, the maximum penalty is 25 percent of your original tax bill. There also is a penalty for failing to pay your tax bill, separate from the penalty for failing to file at all, but it's much smaller.

Fast facts

• The IRS expected to receive about 35 million returns in the last week before the deadline.

• Through April 4, 99.9 million returns had been filed, with 78.8 million receiving refunds totaling $220 billion.

• 90 percent of returns have been filed electronically.

•Last year, the feds collected $2.8 trillion in taxes and fees.

Who pays federal taxes

• Individual income tax: 47 percent.

• Payroll taxes: 32 percent.

• Corporate income tax: 10 percent.

• Excise taxes: 3 percent.

• Unemployment insurance: 2 percent

• Estate and gift taxes: 1 percent.

• Customs duties: 1 percent.

• Miscellaneous: 4 percent.

Sources: Associated Press, IRS, AP-GfK Poll conducted March 20-24, Treasury report on budget year 2013

Psst … Tax day is here and the IRS won't forget (w/video) 04/14/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:10pm]
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