Federal tax liability is one of those things that you can't avoid no matter how hard you try. In fact, any attempt to do so could ultimately lead to legal trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. Whether you've missed one year's filing or many, it's important that you get those returns filed as soon as possible. Here are a few of the things that you need to know about past-due and missing tax returns.
You Could Forfeit Any Owed Refund
One of the reasons why it's important for you to get those overdue returns filed as soon as possible is because you could forfeit an owed refund if you don't file that tax return within three years of the date when it was originally owed to the IRS. You may also lose your right to claim the Earned Income Credit for that year as well as other restrictions. You should work with a tax preparer to ensure that you claim only what you're eligible for in those tax years.
You May Have To File Paper Copies
In many cases, you won't be able to file your past-due tax returns electronically unless you work with a tax preparer. Instead, you'll have to download the hard-copy forms for each missed year and fill them out by hand. Then, you will have to include the paper copies of the backup information, such as your 1099s or W-2s. You should mail those to the IRS unless you can call in advance and work out a fax submission process.
You Can Work With A Tax Preparer
If you'd rather not fill everything out by hand, you might instead opt to work with a tax preparer to handle the process. A tax preparer can submit your tax form digitally, which will allow for them to be received, coded, and processed faster than those submitted on paper. A tax preparer has access to e-file those prior years where you wouldn't be able to do so.
You Can Monitor The Progress
If you're wondering about the status of those past-due tax returns once they've been submitted, you can actually monitor their progress on your IRS online tax account. The tax return transcript for the given year will tell you if the forms have been received and will show you when they've been processed.
If you owe back taxes, talk with a tax preparer or an attorney for help to ensure that you're legally protected and your returns are processed in a timely manner.
For more info about filing old tax returns, contact a local company.