How to File Back Taxes? All the steps you need to know about filing back taxes
- January 8, 2020
- Posted by: asal
- Category: Tax Resolution
The 2020 tax season is here, which means you may be asking yourself, “How do I file back taxes?” If you haven’t filed taxes in years, that’s something you’ll want to take care of as soon as possible. Filing your tax returns is one of the quickest ways to get out of any back-tax issues. However, what you may uncover when filing your back taxes could get you in trouble with the IRS. Or, you may owe the IRS tons in penalties, back-tax payments, and interest. If you’re worried that your back taxes may cause you trouble, call the experts at Platinum Tax Defenders. We have years of experience helping taxpayers file their back taxes. The first thing to do is recognize that you need to submit your back taxes, and then figure out how to do it. Below is a step-by-step process to file back taxes.
How to File Back Taxes – Step One: Get Your Tax Documents Together
Do you remember the last time you filed taxes? Do you have a copy of that tax return? These are the materials you will want to gather as you’re preparing to file your back taxes. The Internal Revenue System can provide you with copies of your tax documents for free if you find you’re missing any papers.
Additionally, you can contact your employer or place of work that would have sent them to you. However, it would help if you kept in mind that your former employer may not have your tax documents on hand still. For that reason, it’s better to request these documents sooner rather than later.
Step Two: Consider Hiring a Tax Professional to File Back Taxes
Filing your back taxes from years ago isn’t as simple as submitting your current-year taxes. Whenever dealing with back taxes, it’s helpful to seek out the assistance of a tax resolution expert. Rules and regulations vary by tax year. This information is critical when it comes to ensuring you won’t end up paying thousands back in back-taxes. An experienced tax professional can help you with compliance when filing back taxes. Also, if you ever need to come into contact with the IRS, a tax professional can help you with that as well. A tax professional can give you advice on how to handle incomplete tax documentation. Additionally, a tax expert can negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.
Step Three: Understand the Time Limits on Your Tax Refund
One of the many downsides of not filing back taxes is you could miss out on a hefty tax refund. However, you should know that many late filers are still entitled to their tax refunds from previous years. However, the IRS does instill strict time limits for refunds. In most cases, taxpayers have three years from the date their tax return was due to collect their refunds. However, if you owe other tax debts, the would-be refund is taken to satisfy the debt.
Step Four: Pay Off Tax Debts
If you have tax debts that you owe from not filing back taxes, you should make a plan to pay those debts off. You may also need to consider how to protect yourself from other actions that the IRS could take on you for not filing back taxes. Some of these actions could include:
- IRS investigation
- Tax lien
- Bank levy
In situations such as the above, a tax professional can be beneficial.
How Can I Pay Off Tax Debts?
When filing back taxes, you may uncover that you owe the IRS. If you do owe the IRS more money than you can pay back, there are plans in place to help. No one knows about these options better than an experienced tax professional, like the ones at Platinum Tax Defenders. Your options to pay debts that result from not filing back taxes include:
- Installment Agreement – wherein you pay back the IRS an affordable monthly amount. This number is agreed upon by you and the IRS. A tax resolution professional can be very helpful in negotiating an Installment Agreement that works best for you.
- Offer in Compromise – in this option, you pay back the IRS much less than you owe. You will often have to demonstrate financial need before the IRS grants you an Offer in Compromise. The professionals at Platinum Tax Defenders have years of experience effectively negotiating Offer in Compromise deals for their clients.
Step Five: Plan for the Future
Once you file your back taxes, you will want to make sure you don’t get behind on taxes again. Settling back taxes is an excellent opportunity to review your tax situation and come up with strategies to reduce your taxes in the future. Planning is something for which a tax professional can be beneficial. If you think you might owe the IRS next year, start making estimated tax payments in advance. Making quarterly estimated tax payments can also help you avoid any penalties on your annual tax return.
What Else Should I Know About Filing Back Taxes?
If you are filing late tax returns, these must be submitted on paper and mailed to your local IRS Service Center. You can use a tax return software to prepare your returns for if they’re late. However, you will still need to print out your tax returns and mail them in. The IRS does not allow you to file late returns electronically. Your tax returns should also be mailed in separate envelopes and sent by certified mail. If they are sent by certified mail, you will have proof that the IRS received them. Additionally, sending them in separate envelopes helps the IRS from making any clerical mistakes in processing.
Can I Hand-Deliver My Tax Returns?
The IRS also allows you to hand-deliver your tax returns to your local IRS office if time is an issue. You should make extra copies of each page and take copies with you. An IRS representative can stamp your copies as received.
What Are Back Taxes?
Back taxes are those that have been partially or fully unpaid in the year in which they were due. You can have unfiled back taxes at the federal, state and/or local levels. When you fail to file back taxes, they accumulate interest and penalties on a regular basis. Failing to file back taxes can lead you to a life of financial turmoil.
Need Help Filing Back Taxes? Call Platinum Tax Defenders
The experts at Platinum Tax Defenders are currently offering free consultations to those needing help with filing back taxes. Even if you think you may owe the IRS thousands, don’t hesitate to call Platinum Tax Defenders. We have years of experience helping taxpayers get out of back tax debt with the IRS. Gather your documents and give us a call today so you can have a tax debt-free tomorrow. For more information, visit www.platinumtaxdefenders.com, or call 866-866-8053.