Why Do So Many People Fail To File Back taxes?

If you’re one of the billions of Americans that need to file back taxes, you aren’t alone. In 2009, an IRS spokesperson reported that 8.2 million Americans owed over $83 billion in back taxes, penalties, and interest. That’s approximately $10,000 per person, according to Investopedia.com. Even though there’s a risk of owing thousands of dollars to the IRS, many Americans still don’t file back taxes. Taxpayers fall behind on back taxes for many reasons. However, some reasons for not paying back taxes are more common than others. Sometimes people get too busy that filing back taxes becomes overwhelming. Alternatively, the reason for not filing or paying may be a result of:

  • Death
  • Illness
  • Cancer 
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job

If you need to file back taxes, there’s no better time to get it together than now. 

Reasons Why Americans Fall Behind On Back Taxes

As mentioned, there is a myriad of reasons for why American’s fall behind on back taxes. For many, it’s because they don’t file back taxes. Taxpayers may be overwhelmed by the tax filing process. Alternatively, taxpayers are afraid they’ll owe back taxes, so they don’t file. Whatever the reason, it’s imperative to stay on top of filing back taxes. The price of neglecting taxes is too high. If you don’t file back taxes, the IRS will come after you. If you need help filing back taxes, call the experts at Platinum Tax Defenders. Until then, read on for reasons why many Americans fall behind on their back taxes.

Failure To File Back Taxes

One of the most common mistakes taxpayers make is failing to file back taxes. If you live and earn income in the U.S. above a minimum threshold amount, you must file taxes. You must pay taxes and report your income by filing a federal tax return. To determine if you have to file a tax return, the IRS uses three criteria:

  • Age
  • Filing status
  • Income

If you don’t file taxes each year, you will get behind and need to file back taxes. There are consequences for failing to file back taxes. You can file back taxes as far back as up to three years. Don’t let the IRS file back taxes for you. The amount you end up owing with a substitute return form will inevitably be higher. Save yourself the trouble and make sure to file back taxes if you have them.


The law requires employers to withhold taxes from your paycheck. If you don’t have enough taxes withheld from your paycheck, you will likely owe the IRS, which is called underwithholding. An underwithholding penalty is usually triggered after an employee claims excessive exemptions on his or her W-4. The result is not having enough income tax withheld throughout the year. You can fill out a new W-4 at any time. If you end up giving too much to the government, you’ll get money back when filing income taxes.

Estimated Tax Payments

Another common way to fall behind on taxes has to do with business owners and entrepreneurs. If you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for paying taxes on a monthly or quarterly basis. How much you have to pay depends on your income and estimated tax payments. Self-employed individuals do not have an employer to withhold taxes from their paycheck. If you fail to make estimated tax payments, you can owe a lot in back taxes at the end. There are a variety of tools to calculate quarterly estimated tax payments. Be sure that the method you choose doesn’t make it hard to make daily expenses. 

What Else Causes Taxpayers To Fall Behind On Taxes?

Everyone is busy these days. Being too busy can make it hard to make time to file back taxes. However, there are many other reasons why people fall behind on taxes. A taxpayer may have a family crisis or an emergency. In an emergency, the IRS will issue the taxpayer a bill for the amount still owed. Other taxpayers may not understand the tax laws and take exemptions or deductions for which they aren’t qualified. The IRS will then usually contact the taxpayer and inform him or her of the filing error. 

One helpful way to correct errors on taxes is to seek out the help of a tax professional. The professionals at Platinum Tax Defenders can help you prepare taxes, so you don’t fall behind.

What Will The IRS Do If I Fall Behind On Taxes?

If the IRS finds you need to file back taxes, they will get a hold of you. Similarly, if the IRS thinks you owe back taxes, they will also get a hold of you. The IRS will typically send you a letter in the mail. However, sometimes the IRS will reach out to you via phone. In severe cases, the IRS may attempt to visit you at work or home. When you owe back taxes and don’t pay, the IRS may take collection actions. Some of the collection actions the IRS can take may include:

  • Bank liens
  • Tax levies
  • Wage garnishments
  • Account or asset seizures

Additionally, the IRS will take on penalties and interest while your debt remains outstanding.

Avoid Filing Back Taxes

You can avoid filing back taxes by staying up to date on current filings each year. If you’re unsure about tax code, contact a tax attorney, CPA or professional tax preparer. Most of all, always file your taxes on time, no matter what you owe.

Need to File Back Taxes And Not Sure How? Contact Platinum Tax Defenders

Taxes can be complicated. The professionals at Platinum Tax Defenders can help you optimize tax strategies to achieve your financial goals. We can help you with back taxes to get you back in good standing with the IRS. If you end up owing taxes, we can help you with a tax debt assistance strategy. Call Platinum Tax Defenders today for a free consultation.

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    I received a letter from the IRS and it says that I didn’t file my taxes. In order to get some assistance, I found Platinum Tax Defenders! The staff took time on the phone with me to really understand my situation also my needs. The staff was friendly and helpful. I highly recommend Platinum Tax Defenders!!!

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