Filing taxes late? Here’s how to get started
The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
Dear Tax Talk,
I’m really worried and don’t know what to do. I haven’t paid taxes in about four years. I went exempt to keep my head above water. I know it is so dumb, but now I’m at the point of not knowing what to do. I need to get back on track, but don’t know where to start or how to go about it. I understand I will need to pay my dues for filing taxes late. I just need help.
The first thing you need to do is determine when you last filed a tax return. Start from there and organize whatever tax information you have year by year so you can get those returns filed with the IRS.
You have several options once you have your information organized. You can:
- Go to the IRS website at www.IRS.gov and download the forms you need for each year you need to file.
- Sit down with a tax professional and let him or her help you get back on track. The tax professional will have access to all the forms you need for each of the years involved.
- Go to your local IRS office and ask for assistance. It can even help you fill in missing gaps if you are unable to locate all of your tax paperwork, as it has access to what has been reported by third parties on your behalf. For example, if a bank has paid you interest income on a savings account, the IRS staff will have that information for you.
Once you have the returns filed, the IRS will work with you to set up a payment plan if you are unable to pay what you owe. The sooner you tackle this project, the better you will feel.
Thanks for the great question and all the best to you .
Ask the adviser
To ask a question on Tax Talk, go to the “Ask the Experts” page and select “Taxes” as the topic. Read more Tax Talk columns.
To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Taxpayers should seek professional advice based on their particular circumstances.