I Forgot to Send My Virginia Tax Return Last Year

by Kay Lee

    If you forgot to send your Virginia income tax return last year, using a bad memory as your excuse won't help you avoid any penalties. When you finally realize your mistake, it's important to take immediate steps to file your return.

    Step 1

    Review your Virginia tax return forms if you filled them out already. If not, fill them out and determine the amount owed, if any.

    Step 2

    Determine the interest owed on your late filing. Interest is assessed from the original due date of the return at the federal underpayment rate, which is set by the Internal Revenue Service. To determine the amount of interest owed, you should contact the Virginia Department of Taxation and provide your information. The representative there will be able to tell you how much interest you owe. If you want to double-check Virginia's calculation, you can do so based on the explanation of the assessment of fees from the Virginia Department of Taxation website.

    Step 3

    Determine the penalties owed on your late tax return. The late filing penalty is equal to 6 percent of the taxes owed per month from the date the taxes were due through the date when the taxes are paid in full, with the maximum penalty equal to 30 percent of the tax owed to Virginia. Even if you do not file your taxes by the due date, which is May 15 in Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires that you pay the taxes owed by that date or you will be assessed an extension penalty. This is assessed in addition to the amount of taxes due and is equal to 2 percent per month from the original due date until the date when the taxes are paid in full.

    Step 4

    Write a check to cover the amount owed or fill out the paperwork for an installment payment agreement and include it with your tax return.

    Step 5

    File your completed Virginia tax return either electronically or by mail. You will receive any refund you are owed once you file your tax return. Processing of returns usually takes about 15 days for electronically filed returns or seven weeks for paper returns.

    Tip

    • Single taxpayers and married taxpayers who are filing separately must file returns only if their adjusted gross income exceeds $11,950 in tax year 2012 and beyond. Married taxpayers filing joint returns will only need to file a return if their joint adjusted gross income exceeds $23,900 for 2012 and beyond. Even if your adjusted gross income is below the minimum filing threshold, you should file a return if any taxes were withheld in order to receive a refund of those taxes that were withheld.

    Warning

    • If you discover that you overpaid your Virginia taxes the year that you forgot to send them, you will not face any penalties or interest. Instead, you essentially made a no interest loan to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Do not delay in filing your return to claim your tax refund as you only have three years from the original due date to make the claim for a refund. (Ref 1)

    Photo Credits

    • A young woman holding a pen, doing her taxes image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com

    About the Author

    Kay Lee began freelance writing for Answerbag and eHow in 2010. She is an attorney in Washington, DC, practicing since 2006. Lee specializes in employee benefits and executive compensation. She holds a Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University Law Center.

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