Even if you can't pay the taxes you owe, it's important to file your return on time. The IRS has a number of payment options available to help taxpayers who can't pay their full tax balance, and filing on time can help you avoid penalties and interest.
In addition to owing more money, not filing your return on time could also lead to problems getting a loan, qualifying for government benefits, or obtaining a passport. So even if you can't pay your full tax balance, make sure to file your return by the deadline.
How to File Your Tax Return If You Can't Pay the Full Amount Owed
The IRS offers several payment options for taxpayers who can't pay their taxes in full. You can choose to pay by credit card, direct debit from your bank account, an installment agreement, or an offer in compromise.
If you're not able to pay online, you can mail a check or money order with Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher. If mailing a check or money order, don't attach it to your tax return—include Form 1040-V instead and write "2019" and your Social Security number above the line where it says "Payment." Make your check or money order payable to the United States Treasury and mail it with Form 1040-V.
No matter what your reason is for not filing a required tax return, it's important that you do so as soon as possible in order to avoid penalties and interest. The IRS offers several payment options for those who can't afford to pay their taxes in full, so there's no need to worry if you're unable to come up with the full amount owed. For more information on whether or not you need to file a return this year, refer to Publication 17 or visit Do I Need to File a Tax Return? And be sure check out our website for additional resources like the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) and FAQs.