I'm asking on behalf of a friend, who, last year, worked 5 weeks through a temporary placement agency earning ~$400/week after taxes (~$550/week before taxes), and also worked 6 months at an internship earning $2,000/month in untaxed stipends. So, she earned about $15,000 in 2012, pre-tax.
She filed for 0 withholdings in her W4, so my (unprofessional) guess was that she'd be owed money, and therefore the IRS wouldn't care much if she didn't file her taxes.†
We'd appreciate some professional input. Is she at as much risk as any other individual of being audited and penalized to the same degree if she skips filing her taxes? In other words, is it so imperative that she should consider filing for an extension? Or does the IRS tend to overlook such individuals.
Thanks in advance.
Since the question itself is rather specific, I've made the question text more generic to help others.
† She'd file her taxes today if she could, but the worry is that time's running out, her W2s were sent to an old address (from which she hasn't been able to retrieve any mail), and it's been a frustrating process to get either employer's attention to retrieve new copies of her W2s.