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I haven’t filed taxes in years. What can I do to fix it?

There are many reasons why an individual or a company would get behind in filing tax returns. T. S. Allen & Associates has worked with clients who have gone through a painful divorce situation, illness, misplaced or destroyed records, job loss, insolvency and bankruptcy, and death in the family—just to name a handful of actual examples. We’ve recently helped clients who were as far behind as 6 years!

Helpful note: We may look at your situation and tell you it would be best to file tax returns only for the most recent 3 past due years. This may be true when there wasn’t a large understatement of income—BUT if the IRS could show that you left off more than 25% of your income from your tax return, then going back up to 6 years is necessary. There are other reasons to file more than the 3 prior years as well, such as the omission of $5,000 or more in foreign income per year, or if there are investors involved in your company. If the IRS has asked you for additional time to examine your returns, call us first!

The key thing to know is that there is a way to get back on track! This is where our organization and investigation skills come into play.

First, we’ll get to know your situation:

  • You’ll talk to a qualified CPA who has handled lots of these cases successfully.


  • We’ll gather the documents you have on hand and guide you as to how to find the others (if necessary). We’ll ask you if you can provide previously filed older returns, for instance.


  • We’ll most likely have you sign a form that will allow us to reach out to the IRS and the states involved to find out what they know about the missing years. This is how we’ve been able to help clients that lost all prior-year documentation to get back into compliance!


  • We not only have the ability to request several different types of transcripts for your account at the IRS to see what they have on file, but we can get them on the phone within 3 minutes and ask the right questions!

Then, we’ll solve the problem:

  • We will prepare your missing returns with expertise, skill, reliability, and efficiency.


  • We know what returns have to be filed where, what returns have to be mailed to the taxing authorities on paper, and what returns can be e-filed to make the process as trouble-free as possible.


  • We’ll develop a strategy for when to file each missing piece or make payments. If an Installment Plan or Offer in Compromise is needed, we offer those additional services at reasonable prices.

Helpful note: If you are expecting a refund for any tax year, make sure you get that tax return filed within 3 years of the due date or you will lose your right to a refund! The refund cannot also not be credited to another tax year if you didn’t claim your money within those 3 years! Don’t lose your refunds!

  • There may be reason to amend an even earlier tax return to correct an error to get back onto the right foot. Although we don’t audit previous year already-filed returns, if we happen to come across errors from a prior return, we will discuss with you the cost-benefit of correcting those errors. Often, our clients will have received a letter from the IRS or the state to notify them that there was a discrepancy. An amended return may correct the issue.

We can also help you move forward:

  • We can make it a surprisingly smooth process for you. You really might be surprised it won’t be as bad as you thought to get caught up with your tax returns again!


Disclaimer: The articles we post here on this website are for informational and sales purposes only and should not be relied upon as accounting, legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your individual situation. Use the information herein at your own risk. Reading or receiving these internet articles does not constitute a client relationship with us as your accountants. You should also not attempt to use the information presented here to avoid penalties under U.S. federal tax law. Though we try to provide accurate and contemporary information, we do not warrant the information in these articles as complete, accurate, or error-free.

© 2020 by T. S. Allen & Associates, LLC

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