The 2017 tax filing deadline is upon us.

That means life will calm down a bit for accountants, but things could heat up for taxpayers who miss the April 18 deadline.

Anyone who owes taxes and doesn’t file by midnight April 18 risks federal penalties for failing to file and pay on time, plus possible interest fees, said Amy Peek, owner of Pittsburgh-based Peekz ConsultiN.

“There are stiff penalties for not paying your taxes. With monthly late fees and interest charges, the amount you owe can grow exponentially in size, making it even more difficult to pay,” the IRS warns on its website.

Owner Amy Peek

“The longer your taxes go unpaid, the bigger the consequences – leading all the way to asset seizure and even incarceration.”

As an example, late payment penalties start at .05 percent of the owed amount, but can accrue up to 25 percent depending on how late the payment is. The IRS compounds the interest daily.

If your return is more than 60 days late, the IRS says the combined penalty for filing and paying late could be up to 100 percent of what is owed.

RELATED: IRS MAY DELAY RETURNS FOR SOME TAXPAYERS

If taxpayers can provide a good reason for filing late, they may be able to get an extension.

But Peek warned, “An extension does not extend your tax liability.”

“If you owe taxes, be sure to make a payment by April 18,” she said.

As a heads-up to independent contractors, she added that the first round of this year’s estimated tax payments are also due April 18.

New or existing clients who need help making the April 18 deadlines are welcome to schedule a meeting with Peekz ConsultiN on our SignUpGenius calendar.

PHOTO CREDITS: Alyson Raletz

Peekz ConsultiN LLC is a Pittsburgh-based accounting firm, located in the West Side, that caters to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. We aim to empower clients to help them take control of their finances and achieve their dreams.

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