Can't afford to pay your taxes?

By Jen Haley, producer


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Even if you don't have enough cash on hand or savings to pay your taxes this year, you still have to file your income tax return.

The penalty for not filing is significant, much more than the penalty for not paying.

CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.32%
$10K MMA 0.30%
6 month CD 0.36%
1 yr CD 0.61%
5 yr CD 1.44%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

If you don't file your tax return, your tax bill could increase 5% every month plus interest.

If you don't have a job or you don't think you'll be able to pay your taxes, get on the phone with an IRS agent. That number: 800-TAX-1040.

The IRS will accept reduced payments, known as an Offer in Compromise. In some cases, the IRS will postpone collection actions against taxpayers who have lost their job or face significant medical bills.

If you haven't been able to pay your tax bill in full in the past, and have agreed a monthly payment plan, the IRS may also allow for more flexibility if you've missed a few installment payments.

The IRS says it's also willing to help homeowners sell or refinance their homes. In some cases it will reduce or suspend a tax lien on the house to help the refinancing or sale go through. This IRS outreach is part of an initiative that was started last year.

Where to get help

IRS will hold hundreds of special Saturday open houses so that taxpayers can get help directly from IRS employees.

The offices will be open on March 27 and three additional Saturdays in the spring and early summer. We'll bring you the latest information about Saturday office hours as soon as it becomes available.

Contact your local Taxpayer Assistance Center if you need help understanding your taxes, or you have questions about new deductions you can take. To find an office in your area, go to IRS.gov.

Talkback: Have you contacted the IRS directly for help with your tax return? To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.89%3.92%
15 yr fixed3.05%3.06%
5/1 ARM3.12%3.19%
30 yr refi3.95%3.97%
15 yr refi3.10%3.14%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,265.02 -20.72 -0.11%
Nasdaq 5,101.12 10.33 0.20%
S&P 500 2,130.52 -0.30 -0.01%
Treasuries 2.22 0.03 1.37%
Data as of 10:57am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 132.81 1.42 1.08%
Hewlett-Packard Co 35.32 1.49 4.40%
Bank of America Corp... 16.75 0.02 0.12%
AT&T Inc 34.84 -0.23 -0.64%
Micron Technology In... 27.58 0.68 2.53%
Data as of 10:42am ET

Sections

Philip Morris and British American Tobacco have filed lawsuits against the British government over a law that bans brands from cigarette packages. More

Chelsea Clinton took the stage during Internet Week New York to discuss a new report that looks at the state of women around the world. More

More than 3.5 million people's sexual preferences, fetishes and secrets have been exposed after dating site Adult FriendFinder was hacked. More

Sarah Kauss launched S'well to rid the world of plastic water bottles. In five years, she's sold 4 million of her stainless steel bottles. More

Rents increased 4% in April from last year while home values only rose 3% during the same time period. More