How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Merlo Your Own Question
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Type Your Tax Question Here...
Merlo is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have not filed taxes or extentions in three years and have

This answer was rated:

I have not filed taxes or extentions in three years and have had very little income. How can I straighten this out?

Hello myrtle,


Depending on the amount of your income, you may not have needed to file.


Are you a single or married taxpayer? What was your total household income for the last 3 years?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
single, total for three years is appox $33,000.00. cashed in an IRA. this does not include gifting

Hello again myrtle,


If you are a single taxpayer and you have no income from self-employment earnings, then the minimum amount you need to make for filing a return for the tax year 2008 is $8,950. If your earnings were less than this amount, a return does not need to be filed. For years prior to 2008, that amount will be slightly lower, as the amount increases each year by approximately $150 to $200. Amounts that were given to you as a gift do not need to be reported as income.


If there are years where your income has exceeded the threshold, then you should file a return as soon as possible. If the $33,000 you made in 3 years was spread out evenly and you had approx. $11,000 in income each year, then your taxable income would be fairly low -- in the $2,000 to $2,500 range. That being the case, your taxes should not be a huge burden, although there will be late fees and interest which will apply.


But it is never too late to file your returns and you should probably do so as soon as possible so that your penalties and interest do not continue to accumulate. Since your tax bill itself should be reasonable, hopefully the overall tax bill will not be a huge burden.







Customer: replied 7 years ago.
which form? your answer was acceptable but I have another question concerning my mother, now deceased, who has not filed taxes for four years. She had alzheimer's. what do i do for her taxes

Hello again myrtle,


You will probably only need to file the Form 1040A for yourself for the years you need to file. You can find the forms for the years you need by going to the IRS website at In the search box on their site, type in the year you need and it will bring up a list of the forms and instructions for that year. You can then print off what you need.


As far as your mother, did she have income for the 4 years she did not file? Was her income all from social security? Did she leave any assets when she passed away?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, she had SSI and state teachers retirement. She had assets at her death. I am the heir and am in the process of filing her estate. Not enough assets to incur estate taxes, though

Hello again myrtle,


The problem with your mother's situation is that if she owed taxes for the years she did not file, then even though you could not personally be held responsible for her tax debt, the IRS would expect payment from you if you received assets from her estate.


In this situation you can either file the returns on behalf of your mother, or wait and see if you get a tax bill from the IRS. The IRS would have a record of your mother's income for the years she did not file. If taxes were due for those years, then eventually they will generate a notice with the amount of tax due, and would expect payment from the person who received her estate assets. Possibly your mother may have had taxes withheld from her teacher's pension and had paid in enough tax that no additional amount is due.



Thank you and good luck in getting these issues resolved.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I would like to pay $30.00 instead of $15.00 for all of your help.


one more ? suppose the IRS owes my mother a refund which is very possible. Will they issue a refund to me?

Hello again myrtle,


Yes, you would be entitled to any refund that was due to your mother, if you are her personal representative and the one filing her returns. However, the IRS will not issue refunds that are more than 3 years old from the due date of the last return. So if your mother was due a refund from 4 years ago, it would still not be issued. If she is due a refund for one of the last 3 years, then you should file those returns as soon as possible so as not to miss the deadline date for getting the refund.


You should file Form 1310 with her return to claim the refund on her behalf.



Thank you.





Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience: 25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
Merlo and 4 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
< Previous | Next >
  • I really was impressed with the prompt response. Your expert was not only a tax expert, but a people expert!!! Her genuine and caring attitude came across in her response... T.G.W Matteson, IL
  • I WON!!! I just wanted you to know that your original answer gave me the courage and confidence to go into yesterday's audit ready to fight. Bonnie Chesnee, SC
  • Great service. Answered my complex tax question in detail and provided a lot of additional useful information for my specific situation. John Minneapolis, MN
  • Excellent information, very quick reply. The experts really take the time to address your questions, it is well worth the fee, for the peace of mind they can provide you with. Orville Hesperia, California
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA

Meet The Experts:

  • Wallstreet Esq.

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    10 years experience
< Last | Next >
  • Wallstreet Esq.'s Avatar

    Wallstreet Esq.

    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    10 years experience
  • Mark D's Avatar

    Mark D

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    MBA, EA, Specializing in Business and Individual Tax Returns and Issues
  • Richard's Avatar


    Tax Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    29 years of experience as a tax, real estate, and business attorney.
  • Robin D.'s Avatar

    Robin D.

    Senior Tax Advisor 4

    Satisfied Customers:

    15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
  • Megan C's Avatar

    Megan C

    Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

    Satisfied Customers:

    Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
  • jgordosea's Avatar


    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
  • R. Klein, EA's Avatar

    R. Klein, EA

    Enrolled Agent

    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 20 Years experience