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Merlo
Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I have not filed taxes for 6 yrs. I just did my federal I owe

Resolved Question:

I have not filed taxes for 6 yrs. I just did my federal I owe 9550.96 for 03-06 And am getting back 5476.20 I did not include penalties and stuff. Can I file the last 2 yrs first so that I have that to help pay then go to them directly? with the other 5 yrs
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
HelloCustomer

You can try filing the last 2 years first, but there is no guarantee that the IRS will issue your refund.

If the IRS has tax documents on file that show you had earned income in the years 2003 to 2006 but did not file a return for those years, then they will likely hold any refund you have for the last two years and apply it to any tax they show is still outstanding.

There is a chance your refunds for those 2 years might be issued, but it is not likely.

Even if your refund were to be issued, it is still short of the total amount that it sounds like you owe for the other years. That being the case, if they do withhold your refunds, then you can try to enter into an installment agreement with the IRS to pay off the balance of the tax due. If they accept such an agreement, this would keep them from putting liens or levies on your property or wages or bank accounts.

If this was helpful please press the Accept button.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX of luck in getting this resolved.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So what you are saying is I should just go down and plead for Mercy with all of it?
Expert:  Merlo replied 5 years ago.
Hello againCustomer

No, that is not exactly what I am trying to say here.

The problem is that every time you are issued a W-2 form or a 1099 form which reports income to you, a copy of that same form is sent to the IRS. So for the years you have not filed, if you had any income that was reported to you on one of those forms, the IRS would still be aware of the fact that you had income in those years, even though you did not actually file a return.

Because of that, if you just try to file for the last two years where you have a refund coming, they are not likely to issue the refund until they receive your tax returns for the other missing years. It is certainly not going to hurt you to try filing for just the last 2 years, but I am just telling you that in all likelihood they would not issue the refunds.

They would, however, give you credit for any refund which you were due and apply that refund against any tax you owe for the previous years, which of course will help reduce the overall amount that you owe. If the amount you owe is still an amount which you feel you cannot pay in full, then you have a couple of options.

One option is to file what is called an Offer in Compromise. An OIC is an attempt to settle your tax debt for an amount which is less than you actually owe. If the IRS reviews your financial situation and feels that it is unlikely you could ever repay the entire debt, then they may accept such an offer.

If the IRS reviews your financial situation but does not feel that you qualify for an Offer in Compromise, then generally they will be willing to work with you to set up an Installment Agreement, where you can pay off the tax debt over a period of time.

As long as you can show them that you are trying to be cooperative in settling any tax debt that you have, then this will generally keep them from trying to garnish your wages or bank account or take other action against you.

As I said, you can certainly try filing just for the 2 years where you have a refund coming and see what happens. You may get lucky and have the returns get through the system without any questioning, and the refunds may be issued. All I am saying, is that it is not likely, but it is certainly worth a try.

Thanks again for using JA, and best of luck to you in getting this resolved.



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

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