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Filing IRS Back Taxes: Your Guide to File a Late Tax Return or Returns


If you have failed to file tax returns in the past and live in fear of the day when the IRS finally tracks you down, you have options to resolve your tax issues. There is no written policy stating that the IRS will overlook your failure to file back tax returns, however in most situations it is better to voluntarily file your late taxes versus waiting for the IRS to find you. If you take the necessary steps to get your back taxes resolved, you can avoid the serious and negative consequences of 1 year in jail and a $10,000 fine for each year you failed to file your tax returns. With this in mind, it is a good idea for anyone who has missed a tax deadline to immediately file their back taxes and get back on track with the IRS. Consider the following tips to ensure your back taxes are filed properly and as soon as possible.

Do Not Delay Filing Back Taxes 

Do not procrastinate a moment longer. When it comes to filing back taxes, the sooner you get your paperwork in order, the better. While it is unlikely that most taxpayers will actually see jail time, it is a possibility and should be taken seriously. Avoid this by consulting a tax professional immediately to begin the process of filing all back taxes.


Select the Right Tax Profesional 

Depending on how complex your tax return will be or the number of years you have missed, this process can become overwhelming for those who lack the training and experience required to navigate complicated tax laws. It is imperative that you find the right tax professional to help you get your documents in order as well as provide support with any resolutions that may be negotiated with the IRS. If you owe a tax liability, the right tax professional can work with the IRS to reach a solution that will work for both parties.


Documents Needed to File Back Taxes 

Gather all necessary documents to ensure your tax consultant has the information needed to help you get your taxes filed.  You will need any W-2's or 1099 documents for the years in question. This information can be obtained by calling old employers or contacting the IRS.


Prepare and File Back Tax Returns 

With the help of your tax professional, prepare and file your past tax returns. As a general rule the IRS requires at least the last six years however it is possible you may be required to file past tax returns beyond that time period. As with any other tax return, you want to have all the information available to back up deductions, exemptions or credits claimed that lower your tax liability.


Why File Back Taxes?

There are many reasons to do so but once you have filed your back taxes, you will be able to assess how much you owe in taxes. This is one of the reasons why it is imperative to file all back taxes as soon as possible. Even if you haven't filed your tax returns, taxes owed will continue to accrue interest and penalties until they have been paid in full or other arrangements have been made with the IRS.

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