Prior Tax Problems – What Steps Should I Take to Clear Up Prior Tax Problems?

Posted on 06. Jul, 2012 by in File Prior Taxes, Prior Tax Returns

Prior tax problems related to not filing on time are surprisingly common.  It can be difficult to get it together after a traumatic event or some other situation prevents you from filing your taxes in time.  Suddenly it is time to file your return for the current year and you realize you still have not filed the previous three.  It can all become very overwhelming very quickly.  The best way to attack prior tax problems is quickly, but with baby steps.

Start by finding a CPA.  Do not try to handle prior taxes alone.  You need a reputable, capable CPA on your side.  It is best to find one that specializes in filing prior year taxes.  Verify that they are licensed, and that their training and license is up to date.   Start by talking to family or friends that you may know have had tax issues before.  If you do not know of any, just ask others who they use.  You do not have to reveal any details about your own situation, but the word of others is the best place to start with any service provider, and CPAs are not excluded.

Make some phone calls and find someone you are comfortable with both professionally and personally.  You need to know they will do the job right, but also that they will treat you with respect.  This is another reason that finding someone who works with prior tax problems frequently is a good idea.  They have likely seen it all, and they will simply get the work done that needs to be done.

Once you have a CPA to work with, they will ask for all of your prior tax information.  They will go through it and ask for any other information they may need.  They may also have to contact you frequently with questions.  The more cooperative you are, the better able they will be to help you with your prior tax problems.

Once the return is filed, you will likely owe a great deal in penalties and interest.  At this point, you can work out a payment plan with the IRS that meets your needs.

We are a CPA firm and we deal specifically with clients who need help filing prior tax returns.  Have Questions? Call us now for a FREE consultation at 1-888-570-1033.


Prior Year Tax Returns – It Is Never Too Late, Or Is It?

Posted on 23. Jun, 2012 by in Filing Prior Year Taxes, Prior Year Tax Returns

The question is relative actually.  Is it ever too late to file tax returns from prior years?  There could very well come a time when failing to file prior year tax returns will come back to haunt you, and there will be nothing you can do.  However, that time could be a long time coming, and it is usually possible to remedy the situation before it gets to that.  That does not mean that there will not be consequences, but those consequences are better than the ones that could come with never filing.

If you have prior year tax returns that need to be filed, frankly the sooner you get it done the better.  This is especially true if there is a sizeable amount that will be owed.  The reason is, the longer you put it off, the larger that amount gets.  Penalties and interest add up fast, and the longer you put off some sort of payment agreement with the IRS, the worse it gets.  Also, the faster you get the returns filed, the more chance you have for qualification of special payment programs such as an Offer in Compromise or abatement.

Other reasons include not being eligible to claim refunds, though the IRS will take what is needed to cover any debt owed.  When the time comes that the refund would be yours to keep, you would likely want to be able to do that.  Also, the risk of being audited is always looming, and it is much better to have your tax business in order before that time.

While it can be overwhelming, there is no reason to do it alone.  A CPA can help you get things back in order and on the right track so that you can get business settled with the IRS.  It is amazing how it feels to get the payments moving so that you can be out from under the weight of owing back taxes from prior returns.  A professional tax accountant can also offer tips and help for keeping things from getting to this point again, and can even make sure you are not paying a penny more than you have to.  In the end…get your prior year tax returns filed ASAP.

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.


The Steps to Filing Your Prior Year Tax Returns

Posted on 16. May, 2012 by in File Prior Taxes, Filing Prior Returns, Filing Prior Year Taxes, Prior Tax Returns

Normally, the deadline to file your taxes for the previous income year is April 15th. For example, for the year 2010, your income tax return should have been filed by no later than April 15, 2011. However, for any number of reasons, many people still have prior year tax returns that have never been filed. They may have filed them late, or never filed them at all. If you’re one of them, you should get that old tax return filed immediately, even if the IRS hasn’t sent you a letter demanding that you pay and/or file your prior year tax returns.

If you need help filling out and filing your prior year tax returns, help is available. You should have kept all the income and financial documentation you need to complete those tax returns somewhere safe. The documentation you need may include the Form W-2 that your employer completed for you, the 1099s that prove that you did contract work, the statements and receipts that demonstrate tax deductions you can take, and so on. Having as much of this documentation on hand as possible will make it much easier to complete your prior year tax returns. Of course, you may not have any of those forms. In that case, your best option is to find a tax professional who can get you the forms necessary to file the tax return. In many cases, they can help you complete your tax return even if you don’t have all of that documentation.

Alternatively, if you prefer to file your unfiled tax returns on your own, software that automates the process is available. Getting the tax returns ready to file usually takes between 2 and 3 hours for each return. However, if you want to file them yourself, you must have all the necessary supporting documentation on hand, and you will probably have to take the time to do some research and locate the paperwork you need to file your prior tax returns. You will also have to file these returns through the mail, even if you used a program or a Web site to prepare them. Electronic filing is not an option for prior year tax returns.

The only way to find out how much, if anything, you owe from prior tax years is to file your tax returns from those years. If it turns out that you’re owed a tax refund from one of those years, you can choose to apply it toward any other debt you may owe the IRS. Not only is it important to get started on filing your prior year tax returns as soon as you can, but it’s equally important to start planning ahead now, so that problems with late filing or delinquent returns will not reappear, or continue into the future.

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.