How To Deal with Unfiled Tax Returns
Every year, many Americans fail to file their tax returns on time. Sometimes, it’s because of procrastination. Other times, it’s because the necessary documents can’t be located. And often, it’s because of fear of owing money to the government. Whatever the reason that you failed to file a return, you need to get it filed as soon as possible.
You may be overwhelmed at the thought of getting your back tax returns filed, but you can get unfiled tax return help by contacting the W Tax Group. Our Accounting team can help you with the Tax preparation for all unfiled returns, gather what’s needed to file your returns and handle any back taxes you may owe.
Are There Penalties for Failure to File a Tax Return?
You bet your last unpaid tax dollar there are consequences for failing to file a return. First of all, it’s illegal. And yes, you can go to jail. Second, if you fail to file a tax return on time, you will be hit with penalties and interest. The longer you go without filing a tax return and without paying your back taxes, the higher those penalties will climb.
Although prosecutions for tax evasion related to unfiled returns are somewhat rare, they do happen. If you haven’t filed your taxes for years, you could be prosecuted for this crime. This is especially true if you had the money to pay and you didn’t have a good reason for not filing your tax return.
Sometimes, life can overwhelm you and make you get behind on your tax returns. Whatever your reasons for not filing on time, you don’t have to make things worse by ignoring the problem and hoping it will resolve itself. No problem is fixed by pretending it doesn’t exist. Fortunately, you can file that back tax return with help from our office.
How to File Back Taxes
- Find the records and documents you need to file your old returns. The materials include W2’s, 1099 tax documents, income records from your business, and receipts and old bills for business expenses.
- If you can’t find the documents you need, contact old employers or financial institutions and ask them for documents. If they do not have the information, you can call the IRS and request income data for missing years. It is likely that the IRS will have these details because all companies are required to report this information to the IRS.
- If you can’t get the forms you need, use Form 4852. This IRS form works as a substitute for W-2’s, wage and tax statements, 1099’s, and distribution records from pensions, IRAs, etc. You just estimate the amounts.
- Find the tax forms for the years which you are filing. Exemptions and credits change annually, so it’s critical to use forms from the correct years. You can get these forms from the IRS website or a tax professional.
- Fill out the tax returns. Make sure to claim deductions, exemptions, and credits to reduce your total tax liability.
- If you owe taxes and want to set up your own resolution, apply for a payment plan when you file your back taxes. You can do that with Form 9465 (Installment Agreement Request) or apply online through the IRS’s online request page. You may also need to submit Form 433-F (Collection Information Statement).
- Send the forms to the IRS. If the IRS sent you a notice requesting you to file your back taxes, send your forms to the address on that notice. If you are voluntarily filing, use the address you usually use for your tax return. Typically, you can’t e-file back taxes.
- If you can’t afford to pay everything that you owe, consider applying for a settlement. That’s where you pay less than you owe.
- Alternatively, consider applying for uncollectible status. If you can prove that you have no money, the IRS stops collection activity. These filings can be complicated so you may want to work with a professional.
Have a year or more of unfiled taxes? You’ll need some professional ANSWERS you can count on, but we’re sure you don’t want to pay to get this information. This is why we offer a 100% free consultation with a tax professional. Our honest, licensed professionals will evaluate your situation and provide you with the answers you need, so you can have the peace of mind and security of understanding your tax filing options. Chat with us live right now or call us if you prefer. We are NOT sales people, we’re true tax professionals.