Tax Day 2021: What to do if you can't pay the IRS


Tax Day 2021 is Monday, so you only have one day to file your taxes before the deadline.

While some Americans will receive their refund, others may face a tax bill that is too expensive - leading to procrastination in doing their taxes.

However, ignoring that you do owe money to the IRS is not a smart idea. Stephanie Ruhle, a NBC senior business correspondent, told Today that there are specific steps you should take when you owe a tax bill that you cannot pay.

“One of the main reasons why people procrastinate is because they don't have the money,” Ruhle said. "Well here's the thing, waiting, shoving it aside, putting it in a shoe box doesn't solve it. And if you don't address this by tax deadline day, do you know what happens on May 18? You're going to owe more.”

Ruhle offers the below tips if you can't pay your tax fees:

File even if you can't pay

If you don’t file your taxes, Ruhle said the fees and penalties will start adding up.

"If you can't pay what you owe, it's only going to get worse when you lop all that stuff on top of it," she said.

Set up a payment plan

You can go to and find the link for what to do if you can’t pay. After this, the IRS will put you on a short term payment plan and will make you pay 5% interest on what you owe.

Find the cash if you can

"If you think you can get a loan from someone or somewhere else that's lower, you might want to do that,” Ruhle said. “Do the math with your credit cards."

Beware of scams

Tax payers should be cautious of companies or a person asking for a fee to help you pay your taxes.

"Go to, file your taxes, even if you don't have the money right now," she said. “Please file them. And take my word for it, if you don't address this and the next thing you know it's June, the IRS knows where you live. They're coming for you. So let's address it now and start chipping away at it."

Discover more Tax Day 2021 content on Audacy
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Tax Day 2021 is on May 17. Get the latest tax season news and updates on Audacy.

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