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First things first, if you did not file a federal or state return, the statute of limitations does not apply so the IRS or New York could come back at any time and assess tax for those years
If you file, you start the statute of limitations
Also, if you were due a refund you have lost the refund now because it's over 3 years since the return was due.
If you owe tax, you will owe penalties and interest on top of the tax due.
To talk to the IRS, you can call 1-800-829-1040. There's a lot of automated stuff on that line, but I have been able to get through to an actual person using that number.
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New York has assessed a tax for those years 2005 and 2008 for which my friend has not filed a tax return. by filing the return can she get the assessment reduced or eliminated?