Tax Samaritan Can Help If You Are A Non-Filer
Regardless of what “event” or “events” have transpired in your life that has lead you to become a non-filer, we can help. Our job is to work with you to become compliant and get you back into the position to stay compliant going forward.
Who Is A Non-Filer?
A non-filer is a taxpayer who has not met their tax filing obligation at a federal or state level by the due date of the return or approved extension due date. Many taxpayers fall under this classification for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons include the misconception that there is no filing obligation or being stuck in a rut or trapped into being a non-filer because of past decisions or life events that prevented filing.
Is the stress of non-filing causing health issues or sleepless nights? Do you feel like everything in the world is upside down? We will work with you to understand the issues that have led you to become a non-filer and work with you so that you can feel hope again when it comes to your tax filing.
One of the basic tenets of our tax system is that all citizens must comply with the requirements to file returns and pay taxes. The US and state governments hold the belief that taxpayers who willfully fail to file income tax returns pose a serious threat to tax administration and voluntary compliance. While most non-filers will not come under scrutiny by the Criminal Investigation unit of the IRS or the state-equivalent unit, we want to help you get your life back on track by filing your unfiled tax returns and preventing such scrutiny.
Other Reasons To Get Caught Up
There are a number of other reasons to file your unfiled tax returns including:
- In order to qualify for financial aid (for college, etc.); generally all tax returns must be filed
- Many loan modification programs provided by banks and mortgage lenders require that all unfiled tax returns have been filed before considering a modification
- All unfiled tax returns must also be filed in order to qualify for filing bankruptcy and requesting a discharge of a tax debt
Statute Of Limitations
Normally the statute of limitations for a federal income tax return that is timely, completely and not fraudulently filed is three years from the due date of the return or when the return was actually filed (whichever is later).
If there is an understatement or omission of income on the return that exceeds 25%, the statute of limitations is extended to six years.
If there is a fraudulent tax return or unfiled tax returns, the statute of limitations is open forever… there is no end date if you are a non-filer.
Substitute For Return (SFR)
It is important to note that if the IRS or state authority has prepared a Substitute for Return (SFR), this does not qualify as a filed return and the statute of limitations is still open. You are still considered a non-filer.
When a Substitute for Return is prepared, the IRS will only include the income information available to them and will base the return on the “Single” filing status and only the standard deduction will be applied. Thus, they do not include dependents, spouse information, itemized deductions and other credits that you may be eligible for. They do not take into consideration many areas that potentially could lower your tax liability and it is easy to see how your actual tax liability can be overstated and become overwhelming and compelling to ignore when you receive a tax assessment.
It is in your best interest to have a return prepared and filed if a Substitute for Return (SFR) has been prepared on your behalf. You may be surprised to know that it is possible that your actual tax liability could be lower as a result of preparing your unfiled tax returns.
How To Get Started If You Are A Non-Filer?
If the IRS has begun collection action against you, you have received notification letters from the IRS or your state or you are just ready to come clean and get back in compliance, Tax Samaritan can help. Your status with the IRS or state will determine how we should proceed in representing you. We will do some background research with the IRS and/or state as part of your engagement so that it is clear what years and returns need to be filed in order to bring you back into compliance.
Don’t panic if you don’t have all of your tax records. We can help you obtain missing tax records from the IRS or state and guide you in obtaining records from elsewhere.
We encourage you that if you are a non-filer to voluntarily come into compliance and thereafter remain in compliance. Tax collection issues are simply not a reason to remain in non-compliance. It is important to note that if there is a tax liability, there are many options available to you. The IRS has various collection related programs (installment payment arrangements, offers in compromise, etc.) to work with taxpayers. The majority of people who come forward and file returns prior to being notified by IRS are not pursued through a criminal investigation. However, a non-filer should not wait. Full compliance remains the most appropriate strategy – for your own benefit.
Our goal at Tax Samaritan is to provide the best counsel, advocacy and personal service for our clients. We are not only tax preparation and representation experts, but strive to become valued business partners. Tax Samaritan is committed to understanding our client’s unique needs; every tax situation is different and requires a personal approach in providing realistic and effective solutions.
If you have find yourself in the position of being a non-filer and the effort of trying to get caught up has become overwhelming, click the button below to request a Tax Preparation Quote today to get started with the preparation of your unfiled tax returns. Small steps are important and requesting a quote is the first small step in getting the help that you need to become compliant.
Tax Samaritan is a team of Enrolled Agents with over 25 years of experience focusing on US tax preparation and representation. We maintain this tax blog where all articles are written by Enrolled Agents. Our main objective is to educate US taxpayers on their tax responsibilities and the selection of a tax professional. Our articles are also designed to help taxpayers looking to self prepare, providing specific tips and pitfalls to avoid.
When looking for a tax professional, choose carefully. We recommend that you hire a credentialed tax professional such as Tax Samaritan that is an Enrolled Agent (America’s Tax Experts). If you are a US taxpayer overseas, we further recommend that you seek a professional who is experienced in expat tax preparation, like Tax Samaritan (most tax professionals have limited to no experience with the unique tax issues of expat taxpayers).
Randall Brody is an enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics.
Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.