When and How to Contact the IRS About Overdue Taxes

Annual tax returns are needed by the vast majority of taxpayers. Taxpayers who are obligated to file but don’t are tracked by the IRS and those returns may be audited. This may lead to severe repercussions and further issues. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may levy steep fines, withhold your refund, and even file a return on your behalf, but it won’t include any of your tax credits or deductions.

You or your tax professional should start the process of filing a tax return as soon as possible, regardless of the number of returns you need to submit.

Do your best to fill out your tax forms correctly. Verifying your return against your IRS transcripts is the best way to ensure that you reported all of your income and included all of your withholding or anticipated tax payments.

If you have a tax debt but can’t afford to pay it all at once, you may be able to negotiate a payment plan together with your return.

Include a request for waiver of penalties if that applies. You may be eligible for penalty reduction on any failure to file and payment of penalties if you have just one overdue return to file. It’s more of a hassle to submit the return and keep track of any fines or outstanding amounts if there are many returns to file. In these more complicated scenarios, you’ll need to dig further into your potential penalty relief choices.

Make sure you send your form to the correct IRS office for unfiled tax returns.

Requesting account transcripts or contacting the relevant IRS unit periodically is a good way to ensure that the IRS processed your return and to have documentation available if you get collection letters, liens, levies, or investigations connected to your failure to submit a return.

The Internal Revenue Service may have already taken action (such as submitting a return replacement) on an unfiled tax return, in which case you should check in to make sure everything is resolved.