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What happens when you file your tax returns late?

Be it form 2290 or any other tax form, IRS considers late filing with an implied penalty. Here’s a 1985 case that I recently read which educates the importance of filing taxes on time and the danger of doing it late.

George’s mother Mary (names changed) died for some reason and had previously appointed her son as the executor of her will. George, involved in his business all the time, retained John (name changed again) as to serve as the attorney for the estate in his hands. John responsibly informed George about the federal estate tax return that he had to file but missed to mention the due date. The return was due within nine months of the decedent’s death as per law. Having the experience of only being the executor of the will and not any bit about federal estate taxation, he completely relied on John for instructions and guidance. He also provided John with all relevant information and records required for the return filing. George’s family was in constant touch with John and enquired about the proceedings of the return preparation while every time they were assured that everything would be done well before time. Apparently, John had overlooked the matter because of a clerical oversight in omitting the filing date from his calendar. After a brief meeting between the two, the return was finally filed, three months late. Continue reading