If you can't pay off the full amount of your liability, Luscombe advises taxpayers to file their return and send in as much as they can to minimize the late-payment penalty.
You could also consider taking a loan to cover your balance in full or paying by credit card, since the interest payments you incur may be less than the combination of penalties and interest imposed by the IRS.
"If you're dealing with a temporary situation where the ship is coming in but it hasn't yet landed, then borrowing from another source, like a home equity loan, to pay the IRS can be cheaper, said Luscombe, noting some taxpayers who do have the savings to cover their bill still pay via credit card to accrue airline miles, then pay the balance off immediately.
If you decide to pay by debit or credit card, the IRS has a list of authorized payment processors on its website. The fees vary by service provider but range from $2.79 to $3.95 for a flat debit card fee and 1.87 percent to 2.35 percent for credit card fees.
It may also be prudent to borrow from your 401(k), depending on the rate of interest you would pay, said Bob Mecca, a certified financial planner in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
You can pay yourself back from payroll deductions without incurring a penalty, but remember that the money you borrow will not earn interest while it's out of your account, which affects the long-term value of your nest egg.
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