Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
It’s the curse of the procrastinator. Sometimes it’s putting off filing taxes until it’s too late. Other times it’s neglecting to pay a bill until it’s past due—a mistake that can seriously affect your credit score.
Well, we can’t change the past. But if you’ve missed the tax-filing deadline, there are ways to reduce the damage.
We have two items on our to do list:
1. Get the tax return filed ASAP.
2. Provide a good, credible, heart-rending excuse for filing late in order to reduce the 25 percent penalty (and the related interest) for filing taxes late.
Task 1: File your tax return as soon as you can.
Make a list of all the things keeping you from filing the tax return. Once you complete the list, write some solutions next to each obstacle. For example:
1. You’re missing information from third parties (clients, banks, investments, partnerships, etc.).
2. Something different or unusual happened this year and you don’t know how to report it.
3. You don’t have the money to pay the taxes, even if you file.
Task 2: Establish your reasons for filing late.
There are many reasons why you may have needed to file your taxes late. For example:
1. You were too ill to file, in whatever form that illness may have taken—physical, mental, or emotional.
2. Your data was destroyed due to fire, flood, or other disaster, and you don’t know how to reconstruct it.
3. You experienced a sudden death or illness in the family close to the filing deadline and just couldn’t get the work completed in time.
No matter what the situation, file the tax returns as soon as you can. When it comes to getting the penalties waived, it’s important to provide proof of the reason you were unable to file on time. Doctor’s reports, police reports, hospital reports, and death certificates are all helpful. When writing your letter to request penalty relief, be truthful, but be poignant—you want to make them sympathetic when they read your story.
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com , where your tax questions are answered. Eva is the author of several books and ebooks, including the new edition of Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.