Five Steps to Filing Prior Tax Returns

Posted on 13. May, 2012 by in File Prior Taxes, Filing Prior Returns, Prior Tax Returns

There are plenty of people who, for numerous reasons, have tax returns that they have not filed. This may seem like a bleak situation, particularly when the IRS has begun employing intrusive collection tactics to obtain the taxes owed. When you don’t file taxes for a particular year because you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay the taxes you owe, it can start a recurring cycle of not filing and not paying taxes. Soon, you may have unfiled returns going back four or more years.

You need to understand that, when you’re getting ready to take charge of your financial situation by filing your prior returns, you’re not going through it alone. There are several means of assistance available for this process. You are likely to get valuable support from a tax attorney or a certified tax professional. Either of these can help you prepare your tax returns, and can open negotiations with the IRS for you.

Whether you intend to prepare and file your prior tax returns all by yourself, or with the help of a professional tax preparer, the filing process can be divided into five basic steps:

  1. Obtain supporting documents – Before you file, you’ll need to have any and all 1099s, W-2s, and documentation or receipts you wish to use to claim tax deductions readily available. If these documents have been lost, thrown away, or are otherwise unavailable, you still have options. It is possible to obtain some of the relevant information from the IRS, and your tax professional can advise you on the best way to re-create some of those forms.
  2. Fill out your tax returns – You have two options here: fill them out yourself, or hire a tax professional to fill them out. Either way, you must obtain and fill out the tax forms for the tax year you are filing your taxes for. The correct forms for any tax year may be found in online tax programs, and can also be obtained directly from the IRS.
  3. Have your taxes assessed – You cannot know for sure how much you owe in taxes for a particular year until you have finished preparing your tax return for that year. It’s entirely possible that you will have a tax refund coming to you.
  4. Repay the taxes you owe – If you do owe taxes to the IRS, your next step will be to create a workable plan for paying off your debt. A tax professional can also be of assistance in this area. He or she can negotiate with the IRS for you, which may result in a reduction of the amount you have to pay back.
  5. Get back on track – Now that you’ve gotten your prior tax returns filed and out of the way, it should be much easier to stay on top of your taxes for this year. This time, make sure to file your tax return before the deadline.

If you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll be making great strides toward taking control of your unfiled taxes and putting that part of your life back together.

We are a CPA firm and we help clients who need to file prior tax returns.  Call us now for a FREE consultation at 1-888-570-1033.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.