Haven’t Filed Back Taxes? Think before you file…Joint!

Michelle Divan, EA
Michelle Divan, EA

Hi – Michelle Divan here.  I represent taxpayers in Denver, CO – and nationwide – who cannot pay their taxes or have back tax debt.  This month I am focusing my attention and education on people who have back taxes to file.  Last week we talked about how many years you need to file.  (See the blog post here.)  This week, let’s focus on the married couple who have not filed back taxes.

Normally, it is far more beneficial for married couples to prepare their taxes and file as married filing jointly (MFJ.)  When it comes to tax resolution, there may be some significant advantage to filing separately (MFS.)  How can this affect collections?  Once we know your tax debt to the IRS, we may be able to apportion the collections in a more beneficial manner for Installment Agreements, Offers-in-Compromise, or Uncollectible Status. 

The IRS has stopped many active collection activities due to COVID, but they are continuing to enforce tax compliance for non-filers and back taxes that need to be filed.  The IRS knows about close to 15 MILLION non-filers and are actively pursuing these tax payers.  Don’t forget about the back taxes for your state.  While we all start to focus on the IRS, the states are actively enforcing debt collection for back taxes and unpaid sales taxes. 

Wondering what is right for you?  If you or someone you know is in this predicament, let’s get it taken care of!  You can reach me at 303-250-0122 or via email at [email protected]

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