The worst thing you can do if you only have part of your total tax bill available to pay in cash when it’s due, the worst thing you can do is stick your head in the sand and hope for the best. This will only result in late payment penalties and high-interest charges and could even see the IRS coming after any assets you may have. It’s much better to be brave and face the situation head-on.
With that in mind, here’s what you should do if you can’t pay your tax bill in full right now:
Be Sure to File
It can be tempting to put off filing until the last minute or even to avoid filing at all, but this will only make the problem worse because you are legally obliged to file, and you will suffer some pretty terrible consequences if you don’t. If you start filing and you realize there’s going to be a problem, you can call the IRS, and they will help you through it, but you simply have to file your taxes.
Reassess Your Budget
Can you really not pay in cash at the moment or is it that you are paying for lots of extras that you don’t really need making it impossible for you to do so? If it’s the latter, then it is definitely worth looking at your budget to see if you can make any savings by cutting the cable for a while or laying off the little treats. Why? Because if you pay via credit card or you aren’t able to pay in full at all, you will run up extra charges and penalties which will make it even more difficult for you to pay off what you owe.
Pay Partial Taxes
Partially paying your taxes is better than not paying at all because it will reduce the amount of interest your accrue. You could also call the IRS and have them put you on an installment plan. You might also want to talk to a tax relief expert if you could use some additional advice. There is always a way to make things easier for you, but you will only ever benefit from them if you take action.
Work Out if Credit Cards and Loans are Worthwhile
If you are really stuck, then it may be worthwhile using a credit card or home equity line of credit to pay off your tax bill, but it could also make things much more expensive. So, you will need to sit down and work out how much you will pay including interest and IRS charges. Even if you use a 0% interest credit card, you will still be charged a fee for paying by plastic, so you need to be prepared for that if it’s what you decide to do.
Get the Jump on Next Year’s Taxes
To avoid getting into the same situation time and time again, you should look into withholding your W-4 or increasing it so that you can build up a fund to pay for your next bill.
Taxes can be tricky, but if you face up to them, it will be a whole lot better for you.