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What to Do if You Forgot to File Some Tax Returns

IRS Problems

Regardless of how complex you think your IRS problem is…it will most likely fall into one of two categories:

  1.  You are behind on filing some tax returns and/or
  2. You ow the IRS some money.

That’s it.  At the end of the day, you either owe the IRS money, tax returns, or both.

The IRS refers to taxpayers who have failed to file required tax returns as “non-filers”.   Rest assured that you are not alone…in face; millions of taxpayers each year choose not to file.

Most taxpayers fall into the non-filing trap by mistake, by either forgetting to file or by filing an extension and never following up on it.  Some taxpayers, who know they owe money to the IRS for a particular tax year, assume the IRS will not try to collect taxes they don’t know about so these taxpayers don’t file tax returns.

Believe it or not, the reasoning can actually work for a while because the IRS is a very slow-moving giant that takes a while to figure things out.  In fact, in many cases, it can take the IRS years to figure things out.

The problem with the slow-moving IRS is that it gives non-filers a sense of confidence that they’ve made the right choice.

The problem is that, eventually, the slow-moving IRS figures out you are not filing, and tries to contact you to request our un-filed tax returns(s).  If you fail to comply, the IRS either files your return(s) for you (an SFR) and sends you a bill for what they believe you owe or they give your file to an IRS Special Agent assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS to investigate you.

There is a nasty little area of law that deals with taxpayers who have not filed tax returns.  The fact is…you can be criminally charged and sentenced to jail for not filing required tax returns.

Currently, the sentence is one year in jail for every non-filed year; however, that could change at any time.

The bottom line is …IT’S NOT WORTH IT! The fastest way to get back on track with the IRS is to file ALL required tax returns.

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