Haven’t Filed Tax Returns? How Many Years Do You Need to File?

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.  I am sure that is an overwhelming feeling – especially when you have several years you need to file.

So, how many years of non-filed taxes do you need to file?  The IRS has a Policy Statement 5-133 that states that delinquent filers have to file 6 years back to be in good standing with the IRS.  If you exploring this blog today, that means you need to file all the way back to 2015.  If you actually did not owe the IRS, you may even get refunds (back to 2018 – sorry, IRS will only refund back 3 years!)

Now you know how far back you have to file, but what first?  Always get into tax compliance first!  That means get the most current year prepared first and pay any taxes due on that.  The IRS will not negotiate a resolution until you are in tax compliance.

Let’s now talk about the resolution for your back taxes.  There are several options for you once you have know your back taxes and what you owe the IRS.   There are options such as Installment Agreements, Offers-in-Compromise, Uncollectible Status.  Each of these options has rules and requirements around them and I can navigate the rules and requirements.

Your State taxes can be yet another issue.  The IRS has a policy of 6 years to be in compliance.  The states vary by each state, and there may be strategic advantage to the order in which you file your federal and state 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]