(KFVS) - Researchers say a majority of Americans don't file the tax returns for year and often rake up thousands of dollar in penalties.
Certified public account, Carly Bowles, said fear plays a huge part in that.
"It is about fear and not knowing and that's when you don't file your taxes,' Bowles said.
Bowles said she deals with situations like this all the time.
"I've seen several times when people just aren't filing for years and years and once you get that behind you cannot catch up," she said.
Researchers find the majority of Americans who file their tax returns owe the IRS thousands of dollars.
One common cause is that Americans are not updating their W-4 forms.
"If you have a major change you often need to change your W-4," Bowles said.
So, if you do end up owing the IRS thousands of dollars - should you pay for it with your credit card or set up a payment plan with the IRS?
Bowles says the answer is simple.
"The penalties and interest on that [IRS loan] are reduced," she said. "It's a quarter of a percent right now, you can't get a credit card or loan with a quarter of a percent right now. That's why I would choose the installment agreement with the IRS."
Bowels said no matter what you choose – never skip a year.
"File and pay what you can if you can't pay at all at least file your tax return and file an extension," Bowles said.
Bowles always says filing and applying for an extension until October also could give you more time to figure out how to pay back your taxes.