Common Questions About Filing Back Taxes

Back taxes are simply the taxes that you owe for a particular year that you didn’t pay. When you are unable to pay all taxes, you owe back taxes. And even though the concept of back taxes is fairly simple, when you file back taxes, the process can be difficult and complex. To help you with this, we have prepared a list of some common questions about how to file back taxes:

       1. How much time does the IRS has for collecting back taxes?

The IRS has 10 years to collect back taxes. After this statute of limitations has ended, they won’t be able to take any collection action. The time limit begins from the time of the original assessment of the tax. For example, taxes for the year 2019 are assessed around April 2020. This will depend on when you filed the return. So, the IRS will have until April 2030 for collecting the owed amount. During this 10 year period, the IRS will be using all the tools at its disposal for collecting back taxes. This includes imposing monthly penalties, garnishing wages, putting a levy on bank accounts and other assets, etc.

       2. If not filing back taxes illegal?

Yes, it is illegal to not file back taxes. However, if you miss a year, you won’t be going to jail. The IRS will catalog your information and then seek suitable action against you. Also, the government has the authority of adding penalties and monthly interest to your bill. This will increase the owed amount.

         3. For how many years can I file back taxes?

There is no limit. You can file back taxes for all the years that you have missed. However, if you are back tax filing for 3 years after the due date, you will not be getting a refund. If you pay the last six years tax, it will be putting you in good standing with the IRS. However, it is best to consult a tax professional for this.

           4. What happens if I fail to pay my taxes?

When you don’t pay the IRS the taxes that you owe, the IRS has the right to take some serious actions against you. Therefore, it is better that you pay what you owe as soon as possible. Here are a few actions IRS can take when you fail to pay your taxes:

  • Back tax filing a return on your behalf. This doesn’t mean that you are off the hook. IRS does not have all the information required for determining whether you are entitled for the returns or not. So, you will not be receiving the correct exemptions and deductions. Therefore, it is better that you file back taxes yourself.
  • Placing a levy on you. After the IRS has created a substitute return for you, it will be sending you a tax bill. If you don’t pay this, the IRS has the power of placing a levy on your bank account and even your wages. Basically, they will be seizing your bank account and paycheck until you pay your bill.


  • If I file early, will I get benefits? And what will happen if I file after the deadline has ended?


The main benefit of filing early is that you will get your tax refund sooner. If you are filing close to the deadline, it can cost you some money. For example, if you are using a tax resolution service and you are dumping the tax stuff on them just two weeks before the deadline, they will charge you a premium. Another benefit of filing early is that if you have a missing form or any other issue, you will have enough time for solving it.

If you think that you won’t be able to file on time, you can ask the IRS for an automatic extension. However, if you don’t file back taxes and missed the deadline, you will be facing fines and interest.

          6.I can’t pay my taxes this year. What should I do?

Don’t worry. There are several options that you can try if you can’t afford to pay your taxes:

  • Taking a loan from a credit union or a bank
  • Putting it on credit cards
  • Seeking tax relief from the IRS
  • Setting up an installment plan

If you are unsure about the method to go for, you should consult a professional.

           7. I made a mistake while filing back taxes. What should I do?

If you have made a mistake while back tax filing, the best thing to do is get to it as soon as you can. If you wait any longer, you will be facing penalties and interest. You will have to fill out a new 1040 form with the right information and a 1040x form. Back tax filing is a complicated process. So, it is best to take the help of professionals and consult a tax resolution service like the Platinum Tax Defenders

          8.What are the chances of me getting audited? If I do get audited, what should I do?

If you make less than $200,000 per year, there is a very less probability of you getting audited. The IRS will audit you if it thinks that you are trying to mess with their system. This includes taking big deductions on low income and putting round numbers all ending in 00. However, even if you get audited, it doesn’t have to be so bad. The IRS will only ask for back-up documentation. Therefore, it is important that you keep your documentation organized for deductions, HSA distributions, retirement contributions, etc. Basically, any document of claims that you have been making for years.

If you are feeling confused and overwhelmed regarding back taxes, you can take the help of professionals. The tax relief experts at the Platinum Tax Defenders will help you with filing back taxes. We guide you through the complete process. We have professionals who are experts in tax laws. They have been negotiating and communicating with the IRS for years. Through their help, you will be able to file back taxes in a timely and correct fashion.

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