How to File Past-Due Tax Returns

If you have left filing your tax return too long and it is now past due, you may be incurring penalties and interest on the amount that you owe, and any amount that you are owed may be held back by the IRS until you are up to date with your tax returns. This guide will assist you in filing your past due tax return. 

Filing your tax returns that are past due 

What happens if I don’t file my tax return on time? 

Filing your tax return on time should be a priority to ensure that you don’t incur penalties and interest. Furthermore, failing to complete your tax return may cause you to lose your tax refund (if you have multiple unfiled returns). Unfiled returns can result in a delay in the approval of loan applications, which means that you won’t get approval for a business loan, home refinancing, or federal aid for higher education. 

If you are self-employed, it is vital to file your tax return on time. If you fail to do so, your income may not be reported to the Social Security Administration, and according to the IRS: “you will not receive credits toward Social Security retirement or disability benefits.” 

Failure to file past-due tax returns can result in the IRS taking steps against you, such as filing a substitute return for you (in which case you won’t get credit for deductions and exemptions that you could typically receive). This substitute return will create a tax bill that you need to pay, and if you don’t pay this bill, you will be handed over for collection (which means that the IRS may deduct a levy from your wages or bank account). 

Repeat offenders may receive additional penalties and can be prosecuted criminally for not complying with tax regulations. 

How to file past-due tax returns 

For help in filing your past-due tax return, visit the IRS website, or contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-4059. You will need to complete the current IRS Form 1040 and mark the return with the year for which you are filing. You can also submit your tax return electronically. If you are experiencing difficulty in filing your return, you may be eligible for assistance through programs such as TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) or VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). 

What if I owe money on my past-due tax returns? 

If you owe money on your tax returns, you will need to make a payment to the IRS to settle your outstanding balances. If you can’t afford to pay the entire balance immediately, you can apply for a payment plan, temporarily delay collection or find out if you qualify for an offer in compromise. For more information on the options to pay, visit the payment section of the IRS website.  

If you have past-due tax returns, contact Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC, for assistance and advice. Our tax preparation experts are ready to assist you with your past-due tax returns, and tax preparation for individuals and small businesses.