Delayed Tax Returns, Unfiled Tax Returns And Tax Evasion: How To Handle Each Of These Situations And Avoid Legal Trouble

Finance & Money Blog

If nightmares of IRS agents tracking you down occur more frequently than you would like, maybe it is time to address the causes behind those nightmares. Taxes have to be filed any year that you make over a certain amount based on your filing status and age, usually $10,000 or more (unless you are married and filing separately). If you are not married and have made more than this amount in the previous year, you should have filed your taxes. If you do not, you may fall into one of three categories of non-paying taxable citizens, and a couple of these might get you into some legal trouble. Here is how to handle these situations and get your tax returns in at the same time.

Unfiled Tax Returns

Unfiled tax returns frequently occur as the result of a lack of forms needed, missing work documentation, changes in name, etc. While there are any number of reasons why you may not have filed a tax return for any given year, you should file immediately upon collecting everything you need for the missing year's (or years') return(s). This is especially true if you know that you made more than the minimum taxable amount stated by the IRS. If you do not file, and then years later you begin filing your tax returns again, you may be audited because the IRS will want to know why you do not have a return on file for years x, y, z, etc. If you do not have to file, you should still file a "tax exempt" form for that year so that the IRS knows you did not have any taxable income for that missing year or years.

Delayed Tax Returns

Whether your returns were delayed intentionally because you were terrified about the outcome or were not sure if you should file, you can still file. What you need to do under these circumstances is request a "delayed filing status" form, either from a tax prep agent or directly from the IRS/your state government. Fill that form out as soon as possible, and return it just as quickly as you can. This is your promise to the government that you are going to file and will file a tax return, but that something held you back or is holding you up. Then the IRS agents will not be visiting you in real life, or in your nightmares.

Tax Evasion

Tax evasion is not something you want the government to accuse you of. Since it is a federal crime, you want to avoid it all costs. You could be accused of this crime if you do not file taxes on the money you made, or if you file taxes and you owe the government a monumental sum and do not pay it. In either case, you can prevent and rectify the situation by first filing your taxes and then paying the amounts you owe. If you cannot pay what you owe because it is in the thousands of dollars, there are payment plans and delayed payment options available to you through the IRS that can help.

For more information, contact Merrill L. Johns & Associates or a similar firm.


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