is a non-filer?
Individuals and organizations that have
not filed tax returns for many years are often called non-filers.
We call it "tax trouble". These individuals and organizations
may never have filed, they may have missed a year of two.
As a non-filer they may or may not be in compliance or follow-up
Each individual that has a filing requirement,
must file returns for any missing years. Failure to
file is a crime. Now we have done our duty and told
you the law. In
the real world that is not how it works. Non-Filers
should not assume that all unfiled taxes are subject to
a monitored filing requirement. This is very different from
the legal requirement to file a tax return. We have outlined
a practical approach to determining what must be filed to
bring your filing status current. If the thought of
finding all that information is driving you nuts, you can
download some of our worksheets.
Why not call 800 677-8297 and listen to free our recorded
Generally, the federal government will
require tax returns from 1994 through the current year.
Prior years may still be required because of some pending
IRS action. Those outstanding actions include balance due
years or special monitoring activity.
The state governments filing requirements
vary by state. A check with the state of residence will
indicate if any actions are necessary. Often a state tax
lien will appear on a credit report. Many states are contracting
out the collection efforts. Individual tax compliance does
not appear as strong in most of the states. State follow-up
is strongest in your state of residence.
Often non-filers will find that returns
have been filed for them. These are called Service Filed
Returns (SFR). A taxpayer would have been given official
notice of this action at the last known address. These SFR
returns often lack the information a taxpayer would have
included on a filed return. The tax calculation on a SFR
return is usually the highest it could be, plus penalties
and interest. The amount due on these returns, usually,
can not be bankrupted. Even if the tax has been paid by
the taxpayer or through offsets and levies, a return must
be filed. If the tax is adjusted and a refund is due, the
three year rule for refunds will apply. In our experience
it takes from 60 to 120 days to process a filed return and
adjust the tax on a SFR filed return.
Most states have a similar process,
often call Notice of Proposed Assessments (NPA). While the
title of the document may change, the effect is the same
as Internal Revenue Service. There is lots of tax, penalty
and interest due. The State of California has two additional
charges; a demand penalty and a collection fee. Most states
most states will abate (forgive) penalties for cause ( a
the Internal Revenue Service
The IRS has a new 24 hour customer service
number 800 TAX-1040. This number can be called anywhere,
anytime. When you call they will ask some questions. For