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Every year April 15th rolls around, and for some people this date comes and goes without filing a federal tax return. Sometimes this is due to missing the tax filing deadline, confusion as to whether or not a person needs to file, or the physical inability to do so.
But many times, it is because the person either does not want to pay taxes, or does not have the money to pay what they owe.
No matter what the reason was for not filing a tax return, I’d like to help you file a delinquent return, face up to the delinquent taxes that are owed, and get back on track with the IRS. Wouldn’t you like to have the weight and stress off of your shoulders?
First off, let’s discuss the different measures the IRS can take in order to get its money (as if you needed more motivation). The IRS has far-reaching arms when it comes to collecting taxes owed.
Delinquent Taxes and the IRS. The IRS can garnish your wages. On top of losing part of your paycheck (between 30-70% depending on your expenses), they contact your employer to do so which can be quite embarrassing. If you are not employed, or self-employed, the IRS will freeze and even drain your bank accounts. Furthermore, they can place a lien on any property you own, including a home, car, a boat, etc.
Suffice it to say, you want to take care of this problem, and file old tax returns, before it is flagged by the IRS.
Penalties and interest are accruing on the amount of money that you owe to the IRS today and every day until the full balance is paid. Also, if you wait too long, the IRS may put you under criminal investigation. In other words, it is in your best interest to file as soon as possible, even if you don’t have the money to pay your entire tax obligation.
In order to file your delinquent tax return, go to the IRS publications page and choose the 1040 form for the tax year(s) in which you have not filed. Be sure to download the instructions for that particular year and review them as the tax code changes often.
Gather all of your W-2s and other income documents from that tax year. If you do not have this information, your employer and the IRS will (all tax forms furnished to you must also be provided to the IRS). Begin with your employer/past employer by contacting the HR department. You can also do a search on W-2 Express. You can also request a transcript of your information for a particular tax year from the IRS by filing Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Please note that as of January 2011, the IRS charges a $57 per tax year fee to obtain this information.
You cannot electronically file late tax returns. So once you finish filling out your information, you must sign, date, and mail the return off. Also, once the IRS receives your tax return, they will assess any penalties and/or interest owed.
Be sure to check back tomorrow on what to do if you do not have all of the money to pay delinquent taxes that are owed on your old tax returns. Also, check out the IRS website to see if you qualify for free tax filing assistance.
In addition, to put an end to the cycle, don’t add another missed tax deadline or missed tax return; file your tax return for this year by the deadline.
Have you ever missed a tax deadline or had to file an old tax return?