Not filing your tax returns for a year or more, will undoubtedly alert the IRS and you will be classified as a non-filer. If you have acquired this status, you have IRS Problems. Whether you have not filed because you procrastinated, you did not have the money to pay the taxes you owed, or you just have chosen not to file, the IRS will catch up with you and you will pay the penalties.
The IRS uses a computerized Information Returns Program (IRP) to match W-2’s and 1099 reports to determine if taxpayers have submitted their returns. If it finds no match, it knows the taxpayer has not filed a return. Soon you will be receiving notices. If you ignore these, you will either receive a phone call or letter, a call or visit from a revenue agent, or possibly a visit from a special agent.
Criminal charges can be brought against you if you owe taxes and do not file a tax return. A fine can be assessed up to $25,000 per year and/or you can be sentenced to one year in prison for each year you failed to file.
Civil charges include penalties and interest that is assessed on the taxes you owe.
The IRS usually does not pursue non-filers after 6 years of the filing date of the tax return. This does not mean that if you did not file a return 10 years ago you are off the hook. If you owed taxes, those taxes have been accruing both penalties and interest. Your tax debt is increasing quickly.
Steps to Take
To avoid criminal charges and/or to add to the civil charges, it is important to file your tax return even if it is late and even if you cannot pay the taxes you owe. Do this before the IRS becomes aware of your non-filing status. If you do not have the necessary documentation or tax returns you need, contact the IRS for this information. Remember, just filing your return will stop the penalties assessed for failure to file. Your tax debt will continue to increase with the addition of interest that is accruing though.
If you have not filed your tax return for multiple years, consider mailing each year separately and on different dates. The IRS will not be alerted of your non-filing status as easily if mailed this way. It is also important to mail your returns via certified mail so you will receive notification of receipt. Make sure you keep copies of all your correspondence with the IRS including the postage receipt.
For help with all your IRS Problems, contact our office. With our assistance you can resolve your IRS Problems and make plans for your future. Contact us today.