Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
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?
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.
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 www.irs.gov 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?
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.
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?
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.