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Ok, I have a weird question, and its a long one. I screwed

Ok, I have a weird...
Ok, I have a weird question, and it's a long one. I screwed up a lot years ago and now I want to straighten things out. I just don't know where to start. In 1995 and 96 I was a contractor and had an accountant do my taxes and I received returns. In 1997 I was off shore and didn't file in time and kept putting it off. In 1998 I had the same accountant file for 97 and 98 and I was supposed to get refunds. Instead I received a letter saying that I hadn't filed in 95 and 96 and so they had kept my refund to go towards those years. I knew this was a mistake because I had gotten refunds for those years. I called the number on the letter and was told they had 90 days to send me a letter explaining their actions. They took the entire 90 days, I didn't understand the letter but at the end it said I needed to go to tax court to dispute it by a date that had already passed by the time I got the letter. I sent everything to my accountant. He typed up a letter explaining the mistake they had made and told me to send it to the IRS. My girlfriend at the time said she sent the letter, but never did. And like an idiot when I found out I kept putting it off thinking I was going to need a lawyer. The next thing I knew a year had gone by. I fully intended to take care of it and I didn't file that year because I knew they would just take my refund. This went on for several years, and in Feb of 2006 I ended up making the biggest mistake of my life and went to prison for it for 5 years. This has nothing to do with the taxes. I was released from prison in Feb of 2011. For the past 2 and a half years I have been trying to get my life back together, I have been working and paying taxes but again not filing. So all of the years I wasn't in prison I did pay taxes, I just never filed. I have the letter from the IRS, the letter from my accountant and all of my W-2s except one I think. Now I want to straighten all of this out so that I can go back to doing my taxes like a normal American, and I don't have much money. Things are getting slowly better since prison, but still slow. So what do I do?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
10/21/2013
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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Megan C :

Hello! I am a CPA here to assist you with your tax questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Megan C :

How are you today?

Megan C :

Chances are, if you had taxes withheld from your check, you will not owe any taxes, which is good for you.

Megan C :

Basically, your main concern now shouldn't be the taxes from the 90s, as I assume that issue has already been cleared up. Now, your main concern should be filing your 2011 and 2012 returns

Megan C :

This shouldn't be too difficult. It sounds like you are single, and you probably take the standard deduction as I assume you don't have a house, high medical bills, or pay significant state taxes.

Megan C :

So, you simply get your W-2 information from 2011 and file your 2011 return, make arrangements to pay for any balance that you cannot pay, and then file your 2012 return.

Megan C :

Same deal for 2012- if you owe, simply make payment arrangements.

Customer:

But I never took care of the issues from the 90s, or filed up to the point when I went to prison. Why would that already be taken care of?

Megan C :

Okay, so you didn't file from 99-06?

Megan C :

Well, you would need to file those returns, because the statute of limitations does not start running until you file a return.

Megan C :

And if you owe tax, you would have to make payment arrangements for that as well.

Megan C :

For the year you don't have the w-2 for, you would need an estimate of what you earned. Don't know how you would do that since the farthest back you can typically get information from the IRS is 3-6 years

Megan C :

I assume that your accountant sent a copy of the 95-96 tax returns in as well?

Customer:

Yes

Megan C :

Okay so your only concern is 99-06 and then 11-12

Customer:

The year I'm missing was working for a company contracted to NASA but I wasn't a contractor. it should be pretty close to the year before.

Megan C :

Not so bad, if you worked with a W-2 because chances are you do not owe tax. Would be a big deal if you had a small business

Megan C :

You won't get any refunds if you are due refunds for those years. You only have 3 years to claim a refund

Customer:

Right, and do I still owe for the original problem.

Megan C :

Well, if they assessed tax, they had 10 years to collect that tax.

Megan C :

When did they assess the additional tax?

Customer:

99, I'm not even worried about refunds lol. JUst want to get back on track and not owe them a bunch from the 90's

Megan C :

Okay if they assessed the additional tax in 1999, they had to 2009 to collect it so now they cannot collect that

Megan C :

But, if you owed for the years that you are just now filing, you would have to pay since the tax is just now assessed

Megan C :

Make sense?

Customer:

Yes, and that makes me feel a lot better. So should I just take my w-2s from 99 on to an accountant?

Megan C :

Yes, that would be the wise thing to do at this point. So, you're not in as bad as a situation as you thought.

Customer:

Thank you very much I will definitely get right on this now. I was just very confused about what to do. Again thank you.

Megan C :

You're welcome.

Megan C :

If there's nothing else I can assist you with, please take a moment to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
Verified
Megan C and 87 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
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Thanks, Rob for your positive rating. Please come back and see me if you need anything additional. It was a pleasure working with you today. Best of luck!
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Megan C
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
16,581 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level

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