The April 15 tax filing deadline is now well in the rear view mirror, but many U.S. taxpayers remain burdened with the stress and anxiety that can come from having one or more unfiled returns outstanding. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that approximately ten million taxpayers, for one reason or another, fail to get their returns filed each and every year. The individuals and businesses run the risk of mounting fees and penalties, and potentially even criminal prosecution.
The IRS will eventually find and pursue non-filers in order to compel their compliance. At Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, we have vast experience successfully assisting non-filers with the process of regaining good standing with the government, often greatly mitigating fines and penalties. Our Baltimore tax attorneys are prepared to address your concerns, review your financial data and determine how best to effectively achieve resolution.
Pursuit of non-filers by the IRS
Though it may not happen immediately, those who fail to file tax returns will eventually be called to account by the IRS. Revenue agents, auditors and collection officers are employed by the agency as part of the IRS Non-Filer program for purposes of identifying delinquent taxpayers and urging their full compliance with filing requirements.
The IRS works to match Form W-2 and Form 1099 information it has received from employers to filing records of individual taxpayers. Other pertinent information will be gathered and a CP59 Notice may be issued, informing the taxpayer of their need to file a return for one or more years or explain why those returns are unnecessary.
If you have received such a communication from the IRS, it is wise to enlist the aid of a skilled tax attorney who understands how to address unfiled tax returns, comb through financial information and return the taxpayer to good standing.
Key considerations concerning unfiled returns
If your unfiled tax returns are causing sleepless nights and worry, scheduling a consultation with a Maryland tax attorney from our team will start the process of resolution and help you achieve peace of mind.
Some important factors that will be explored include:
- The number of outstanding unfiled returns
- All accessible income and expense records
- Relevant business records
- Potential for penalties and fines
- Appropriate time to disclose and file
- Relevant statute of limitations, if any
Procrastination and fear behind some non-filer cases
There are numerous reasons why some taxpayers fall behind with their annual filings. For some, it is simply the result of procrastination and forgetfulness. Others fail to file because they believe they will be unable to pay their tax bill, once determined.
Regardless of why you may have fallen out of compliance, swift action to achieve resolution is critical. The financial sanctions for failing to file can be significant and will mount quickly if not addressed. Both Maryland and the IRS assess substantial amounts of interest and penalties, which vary depending on the amount of tax owed and the length of delinquency. If fraud and/or evasion are suspected, the penalties become even more onerous and the possibility of criminal prosecution becomes very real.
Fortunately, the IRS is often amenable to requests for abatement of penalties under a wide range of circumstances, and at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, we are very experienced with the process of securing such relief for our clients. Seeking dispensation from the IRS can be a complicated undertaking, and therefore it makes good sense to secure the aid of trusted professionals who can guide you through each step and bolster your chances of success.
Get help with unfiled Maryland tax returns today
Many taxpayers who have failed to file tax returns have been pleasantly surprised to discover that not only can they get back into compliance with relative ease, they are actually entitled to refunds. However, taxpayers generally only have three years from the original return due date to claim those funds. After that, the refund amount may be forfeited to the government.