Missed IRS Deadline Guide

In life, there are countless deadlines you will need to deal with. Whether at work or in your personal life, it’s important to stay on top of these deadlines! One important deadline that you can expect to deal with at least once a year (if not more) is from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Every year, there is a deadline to file taxes, even if you get an extension! 

The deadline to file taxes can vary. For example, in 2019 Tax Day was on April 15th. However, in 2022 Tax Day was on April 18th (or even April 19th for some!). Not only are these deadlines important in the short-term (to file the most recent year’s taxes), but they can be important in the long term.

Take for instance, the notice that the IRS put out for 2018 taxes. The IRS notified people that there were an estimated 1.5 million taxpayers that were due some form of a tax refund. In fact, there was approximately $1.5 billion in tax refunds due to these taxpayers! Basically, the median payment was $813 so 50% of people were due more than $813 and 50% of people were due less than that amount. Regardless, that puts people in good odds that they were due a sizable refund! 

However, when Tax Day passed for 2022 (even including the extension to October 17th, 2022), the three year window that the IRS provides tax filers for filing older taxes came to a close. Missing a deadline can be stressful and overwhelming. If you find yourself in the same boat, you should know what next steps to take!

Understanding Next Steps If an IRS Deadline is Missed

Now we want to remind you that the right next steps will depend on your specific situation. That is why you want to make sure that you talk to a professional to make sure you are getting the best advice for what you’re dealing with. However, we will provide you some general insight on how to handle it!

Like we said earlier, the specific next steps will depend on the deadline that you miss. For example, if we continue looking at the 2018 deadline that passed in April/October 2022, those that were unable to file within the window allowed are basically out of luck. The unclaimed funds will be turned over to the United States treasury and this department becomes the rightful owner of the money. The best way to handle your next steps is by taking advantage of available tax support!

Available Support When it Comes to Filing Taxes

The IRS understands that people can have a hard time when it comes to handling their taxes. Luckily, there are some filing support options that the IRS provides:

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

For decades, VITA has been providing tax assistance to qualifying individuals like those that:

  • Generally earn no more than $60,000 annually
  • Have a disability
  • Are taxpayers but speak a little amount of English

At the federal level, the IRS manages this support opportunity. However, for day-to-day operations, the IRS relies on their partners. At the sites that these partners operate, there are staff that are volunteers that have been certified by the IRS. They would be the ones to provide tax counseling to those who qualify. These volunteers are usually not random people either! They typically have a history of working with non-profit organizations that get grants from the IRS. 

Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)

Just like the VITA program, only qualifying individuals can benefit from this support. However, it should come as no surprise that this program instead focuses on just seniors. Heck, it’s in the name! According to this program, anyone 60 years old or older qualifies as elderly and can benefit. The benefit of this option is the fact that the assistance that seniors get focus on senior-related issues. This can include issues like planning for retirement, dealing with a pension, etc. 

Also similarly to VITA, the IRS is the managing agency for this program at the federal level. However, operations are handled by IRS partners. At these partner operated sites, there are volunteer staff members who have gotten IRS-certified. These staff members would be the ones to provide tax counseling to those who are eligible. 

Available Support When it Comes to Tax Debt

While filing taxes is one part of the tax management process, dealing with tax debt is another part. Countless people deal with tax debt. In fact, there is around $527 billion in tax debt that’s outstanding in the United States! That is why it should come as no surprise that the IRS also offers support to those dealing with this debt. How do they do it? Well, they have the Fresh Start program. Even though this name makes it seem like it is referring to one specific program, it is actually an umbrella term. This term is used to describe a variety of programs including:

Offer in Compromise (OIC)

Some taxpayers can find themselves dealing with delinquent taxes. What does that mean? Basically, it just refers to late taxes. Those that are dealing with this issue may be able to benefit from OIC. Through OIC, the taxpayer may be able to settle the taxes they owe for a lesser amount! However, this program can be tough to get into. That’s because the IRS only approves 50% of applicants every year. When handling the application for this support, it can be especially helpful to use a tax professional to guide you along the way!

Currently Non-Collectible (CNC)

Having your tax debt in collections can feel like the end of the world. When you have too much debt that you need to repay but don’t have enough money to do it, it can feel hopeless. That’s where CNC comes into play. This program can stop tax debt collection on your file. In order to benefit from this opportunity, the taxpayer must be recognizable. This is able to happen if both the IRS and State recognizes the taxpayer based on their gross income. Those that want to benefit can also expect to provide proof financially that they cannot handle their tax debt without facing some tough times. 

Penalty Abatement

It should come as no surprise that the IRS will charge penalty fees. When people are dealing with these fees, they can find that they quickly build up and make already hard to deal with tax debt even more difficult. However, those in this situation may be able to benefit from penalty abatement. Through this support, penalties can be reduced from a taxpayer’s tax debt or even completely removed! Just like with other opportunities on this list, it can be especially helpful to have a tax professional help throughout the application process. 

Installment Agreement (IA)

One of the most common types of support are installment agreements. An IA provides a taxpayer the opportunity to repay their debt in parts instead of all at once. However, just like other support options mentioned in this article, only those that qualify can benefit. If you want to qualify for an IA then you will need to:

  • Be current with your tax returns
  • Be able to show proof that you can’t handle your tax debt all at once
  • Provide proof that you can’t get funds from other sources like a lender


If you find that you miss an IRS deadline, you may not be out of luck. The best advice we can give is to get in touch with a tax professional. They will be able to provide specialized advice based on your current situation. However, some tax support worth considering includes the following:

  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
  • Offer in Compromise (OIC)
  • Currently Non-Collectible (CNC)
  • Penalty Abatement
  • Installment Agreement (IA)

Regardless of whether you need help with filing taxes or managing tax debt, you will find that you have options to consider. Make sure to check out what’s available if you need some extra support!

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