Hello, thank you for choosing JustAnswer.
Let me apologize in advance for the mini book that is to follow, but I feel that I need to provide you with this information so that you can have a clear understanding as to how to get your matter resolved, quickly and efficiently with minimal stress.
Let me first ease your mind and say that unless you owe some ridiculous amount of money, it is highly doubtful that you will be prosecuted or put in jail. As for filing you are obligated to file for each year that your income met the filing requirements. Okay, you don't have all of your records. Good news, the IRS can provide you with the last 10 years of your Wage and Income Transcripts at no charge to you. You will however need to call and request the transcripts. The number to call is 1-800-829-1040. Know that when you call, they will more than likely inquire about why you haven't filed for so many years. So, if you don't want to have to talk to them before filing the returns, hire a qualified tax professional, sign a Form 8821 authorizing them to get information on your account and have them request the tax transcripts for you. Once the transcripts are received, they will show all of your reported wage & income information for the years in question. The transcripts also show mortgage interest paid and other information.
Get the transcripts, have a qualified person prepare the returns and either mail them or walk them in to your nearest IRS office. You'll need to do the same for the state returns as well. You can call the Georgia Department of Revenue to get your state wage and income information for the tax years in question. They can be reached at 1-877-GADOR11 (1-877-423-6711).
As for your bank records, you should be able to request these from the bank. I think they will charge a fee for the copies. There may even be a way that you can get some of the years online. You can check with the bank regarding this matter.
Listed below is the link to the Form 8821/Instructions:
A few more things to know:
1) Any refund that you might have been due beyond the last 3 years is forfeited. You only have 3 years to claim a refund.;
2) If you owe and don't have the money to pay your tax liability, you can request to be put on an installment agreement payment plan, for both federal and the state if need be.
3) Interest and penalties continue to accrue on all unpaid balances;
4) When you don't file a return within a certain time period, the IRS files it for you. When this happens, the amount of the tax liability is greatly exaggerated due to the fact that you do not get all deductions that you might qualify for.
5) Most of the time, simply filing the returns greatly reduce your proposed tax liability.
6) More than likely, you will have a lot of penalties and interest, after all the returns have been filed, if you have a reasonable cause, you can request a penalty abatement to eliminate some of the penalties and interest that has accrued over the years. To request a penalty abatement, you submit Form 843.
Link to Form 843/instructions: