When you do not file a tax return, the IRS actually can create a substitute return for you to assess your income tax liability (if any). The substitute return will be based on any information that the IRS may have received such as W2’s, 1099’s and other information. Once this tax assessment is created, the IRS can and will begin the collection process to collect any tax debt. The only way to resolve the tax liability and cease the collection process is to file the old tax returns.
When answering the question – “how do I file back tax returns” the answer is…quickly and accurately. When you do not file or pay your income tax return on time, you will no doubt be paying late payment penalties to the IRS. Even if you had no choice to file your return late, it is always best to go ahead and estimate the income taxes that you believe are due and pay them on the due date. If you file late AND don’t pay on time, you will be facing a late payment and a late filing penalty in addition to interest charges.
To get help in filing your old taxes, you must consult with a professional that can provide you with the necessary information to complete your taxes. The best solution may be to contact a tax professional that specializes in assistance with filing old taxes. They understand the laws, will know how to negotiate with the IRS on your behalf and can best advise you of how to not only file your back tax returns, but possibly help you avoid additional penalties and interest and settle your back tax debt altogether.
The first step in resolving your back tax issues is making the decision to take action. Consider the following points:
- Whether you handle your back tax problems yourself or hire a professional to represent you is a decision only you can make after you have analyzed your situation.
- Before you can resolve your tax problems, you must first know exactly how much you owe and be in compliance with IRS regulations. This means getting your tax returns filed, even if you can’t afford to pay what you owe.
- Electronic filing is available for the current year’s tax return only. Previous years must
be filed on paper.
- When filing past due returns, don’t skip any years. Start with the oldest and file them
in order at the same time.
Bottom line…get compliant and stay compliant.