top of page


  • Daniel Rodriguez

What is the Penalty for Filing Taxes Late if You Owe Nothing in CA?

Ensuring that you meet all of the requirements of annual tax filings can be complicated, even if you don’t owe the government any money.  Regardless of your tax situation, you should be aware of the ramifications of your tax filing decisions well in advance of making them.  Having a comprehensive understanding of the finer points of the tax code can prepare you ahead of time so that you are never caught off-guard.

Californians who don’t owe money to the government usually won’t face penalties if they file their taxes late.  However, the later you file your taxes, the more time it will take before you see your return.  If you wait too long, the government may simply absorb your unclaimed refund, leaving you with nothing.  If you are planning to file late, you can file for an extension to avoid these consequences.  Even if you believe that you may owe no taxes, you should consult with a tax attorney to be sure, because the government will penalize you for failing to file or pay on an outstanding balance whether you are aware of it or not.

Concerned about your tax filing status?  The California tax attorneys at NewPoint Law Group, LLP can answer all of your questions.  If there is even the slightest doubt in your head, it is in your best interest to double-check with a tax law professional so that you don’t get caught off-guard by a government audit or worse.  To get help from our attorneys today, call the NewPoint Law Group, LLP offices today at 800-358-0305.

Penalties for Filing Taxes Late in CA

If you fail to file your taxes on time, you will charged up to 5% per month for as long as you fail to file your taxes.  For instance, if your filing deadline is in mid-April (as it is for the vast majority of taxpayers), and you don’t properly file your taxes until mid-June, you could be fined up to an additional 10% of the balance that you owe.

The penalties will continue to add up until you reach the maximum penalty of 25% of your unpaid balance.  As soon as you reach the 60 days past due mark and you have an outstanding balance, you are guaranteed to owe money.  The absolute minimum penalty that you may be assessed is $205, unless your total outstanding balance is less than that figure, in which case the penalty will be 100% of your outstanding balance.

Will I Be Penalized for Filing Taxes Late if I Owe Nothing in CA?

Believe it or not, most taxpayers in the United States receive tax refunds and do not have a balance.  Those individuals will not face a penalty for filing their taxes late.  This is assuming that you eventually do file your taxes, since failing to file entirely can be seen as tax evasion.

Just because you won’t be penalized does not mean you shouldn’t attempt to be timely on your tax filings.  People who are owed a refund and don’t file on time will face delays on when they will receive their refund.  Late filers might not get their hands on their refund for up to three years beyond the deadline.  If you have not filed your tax returns for four years past the deadline, the government will actually reclaim your potential tax refund, and you won’t see a dime of it.

Penalties for Failing to File Taxes Entirely in CA

Being late with your filing is one thing, but altogether failing to file a tax return is quite another.  In addition to the negative consequences articulated above, a complete failure to file may leave you in a sticky position legally.  Regardless of how much you owe or if you owe anything at all, failure to file entirely could be construed as tax evasion.  Tax evasion is a felony which carries a maximum sentence of up to five years and $250,000 in penalties.

For this reason, it is always better to be on time when it comes to tax filings.  If you are concerned with your ability to meet your deadlines, or if you already have missed a deadline, our Sacramento tax attorneys can help.  The only wrong move to make is to ignore it entirely, because the government will not be so forgiving.

How Do I Get an Extension for My Tax Filing Deadline in CA?

If you are concerned about your ability to file your taxes on time, there is a way to defer your deadline to a later point.  To move your deadline, you can file for an extension by submitting Form 4868.  People who successfully file Form 4868 will enjoy six additional months (i.e., until mid-October) during which they can prepare to file their taxes without facing the consequences of filing late.

A filing extension through Form 4868 does not change your tax payment deadline requirements if you owe the government money.  There are ways to change this extension, but they are much more complicated and harder to achieve.  To hear more about extension options for both filing and paying taxes, speak to one of our attorneys today.

Get Your Tax Filing Questions Answered in CA Today

The Elk Grove, CA tax attorneys at NewPoint Law Group, LLP have the knowledge and experience to guide our clients to financial security, no matter how complicated the tax matters may be.  We believe you are entitled to that same peace of mind.  Call us at 800-358-0305 to get help today.

Recent Posts

See All

Why you should file your tax return

Most California residents are required to file their personal federal income tax returns by the middle of April each year. The deadline to file is pushed back by six months if requested extension requ


Sacramento form background.jpg

Connect with an Attorney

Your business deserves a legal partner who understands your current needs and is equipped to evolve with you. NewPoint Law Group is ready to be that partner, ensuring that your legal foundation is as robust and forward-thinking at every milestone as your business itself.

Create, Grow, and Protect Your Business with NewPoint Law Group

bottom of page