Tax season is coming to an end but not everyone is getting a refund. According to a study from personal-finance website Magnify Money, which analyzed IRS tax data from 2012 to 2016, 17 percent of taxpayers faced a federal tax bill. Of those who owed money, the average bill was $5,294.
It got worse in 2017. Personal-finance site GOBankingRates notes that last year, "the IRS expected that about 70 percent of taxpayers would be in a position to receive tax refunds, which means approximately 30 percent of taxpayers probably had to open their wallets to the U.S. Treasury." And they predict that scenario will likely repeat itself in 2018.
And, of course, millions of Americans have to contend with state taxes, too.
If you find yourself with a tax bill instead of a refund, it's important to take it seriously. Failure to pay can damage your credit score, cost you interest and additional penalties and, in extreme cases, lead to criminal prosecution. Here are three tips to help you make the best of a bad situation.