AARP's Fraud Resource Center can help protect your digital identity! Learn more.
by AARP Tax-Aide, AARP, April 28, 2008
Q: I had a family emergency come up, and it just slipped my mind to send in my return on April 15. Am I in trouble?
A: Probably not too much. You are subject to a late-filing penalty, but since the penalty is based on any unpaid tax at the due date, if your return shows that you will be getting a refund, there would be no penalty. For this purpose, the stimulus refunds do not count.
If your return shows that you still owe taxes, you may be subject to a penalty of 5 percent of the unpaid amount for each month, or part of a month, that your return is late, but not to exceed 25 percent. So be sure to file your return by May 15.
The late-filing penalty may not be imposed if you can show that your failure to file on time was due to a reasonable cause and not willful neglect. If you still owe taxes with your return, enclose a letter explaining your circumstances and asking forgiveness from the late-filing penalty.
These questions are actual inquiries submitted by taxpayers to our AARP Tax-Aide Program. The AARP Tax-Aide Program is a volunteer-run, free tax-preparation and assistance program offered to low- and middle-income taxpayers with special attention to those age 60 and older. Our volunteers are trained and IRS-certified to understand individual federal-tax issues. Our volunteers provide tax assistance as a public service and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Get tips and resources to protect yourself from fraud and see the latest scam alerts in your state.
Members save 15% all day, every day at participating locations.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at