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Talking Taxes: Late tax filings

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

April 18 is right around the corner and if you haven't filed your taxes in several years we have some information that might help you. 

Tax expert Samantha Dent about some of the things you need to know if you're feeling overwhelmed. 

What you should do if you haven't filed taxes for a few years? What can you do to get caught up?

Yes, probably the first step is to find a tax professional, you know, that can help you with multiple years. And then secondly, let's say you've lost your records for those years, the best thing to do is to set up an IRS account. Online, actually, you can go in and identify yourself and get a login established and actually get in there and see what has been filed. So I would say setting up an online account with the IRS is usually a good place to start, especially if you don't have your documents. If you have your documents, then I would say just gather them up and get an appointment set and go in and see someone.

What someone should do if they cannot pay? What is the IRS collection process?

Surely, so that is kind of a scary thought that you might owe so much, you can't pay it. But in a lot of cases, people actually don't owe what they think they do. They're actually maybe refunding waiting on you, you know, you can actually file any of the years separately. So you can actually go in and filed 2021 Right now if you've been behind, and then go back and get those other ones filed. But you know, the IRS will set up a payment plan with you, you know, there is a lot of interest that's accruing, if you could borrow that money from somewhere else and pay the IRS and then pay that other person back. That's probably best just because the interest is so high. But you know, there are also penalties for not filing. So getting a tax return filed could help to offset some of what you owe. So you just have to sort of, you know, work with the IRS, and they'll work with you.

What if someone hasn't filed in years, but has not received any letters? Can they assume they don't owe anything what's the process?

Hmm. So it could be that you do owe something but maybe you've had an address change and so the IRS can't get your letters to you. It could mean that you don't owe something. But I would say setting up an online account with the IRS. You know where you can see your wage and income information. You can also see what has been filed or hasn't been filed. So if you haven't filed in a few years, the IRS may have filed on your behalf. And so you know, the first place to start with that is to go into the IRS. I can't online just go in and get like let's say a 21 tax return filed and get their address updated. And then maybe that might trigger the letters to start coming again. So there's kind of a couple ways to go about it.

ABC 17 News Team

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