Unfiled Tax Returns and Your Tax Debt: How to Get Caught Up

Didn't File?
The IRS won't tolerate nonfilers. You may have gotten away with it for a while, but once you're caught the punishments include criminal charges, jail time, and sky-high penalties! But don't worry, it's never too late to get right with the IRS, even when you already owe back taxes!

You Owe Back Taxes: Let's say you're already caught. The IRS is pressuring you to pay up. At this stage, voluntarily filing your tax returns and catching up with the IRS is a necessary first step to resolving your back taxes. Work with a professional to hunt down the paperwork and get to it!

Don't Let the IRS File For You: You have to act fast when you haven't filed. If the IRS files a "Substitute for Return" on your behalf, you'll be sorry! The IRS will not apply the deductions, exemptions or credits you're entitled to. They will file the taxes in their best interest.

Keep In Mind: When a Tax Return is filed on time, IRS personnel view the return briefly. Late Tax Returns are hand-screened by specially trained IRS personnel. Your late Tax Return is under far more scrutiny, so file carefully.

Risks of Not Filing:

- Criminal Investigation: It's no secret that you risk jail time if you fail to file your taxes. It's rare, but possible.

- Penalties, Penalties, Penalties: Penalties and fines accrue on your account when you file late. They can double or even triple your tax debt.

- Refunds Denied: If you file too late, you may lose your refund (Internal Revenue Code 6511a.) Only by filing within two years of the original due date will you qualify for the refund. After two years, it takes a very rare exception to get your money!

It's not too late... A lot of people won't file their Back Taxes out of fear. They think if they start to file this year, the IRS will automatically check for all the years not filed. Wrong! The IRS wants to encourage nonfilers to file again. Get professional help and file your taxes, and take care of your tax debt before it's too late!