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What to do when you owe taxes but can't pay

Tax time is never fun. Over the last few years, refunds averaged about $3,000, but it can be scary when you owe money and don't have it. 

You might be tempted not to file, but don't do that. If you file something and don't pay, your penalty is going to be 0.5 percent per month. If you don't file anything, you're going to pay 10 times more, at 5 percent. So if you owe $1,000, you'll owe $5 per month versus $50.

If you can't pay, an interest-free loan from friends or family is the best option, if you can. The second best option might be a signature loan from a source like a credit union. 

You can pay by credit card, but the fee is around 2.5 percent upfront, plus whatever interest your bank may charge. 

Or, work out a deal with Uncle Sam. Sometimes the IRS can work out an installment agreement with you. 

You only have a few days left to file your taxes.