What happens when I have not file prior year returns?


Past Due Tax Returns


First alert:  File all tax returns that are due, regardless of whether or not you can pay in full. File a past due return at the same location where you would file an on-time return.


If you do not voluntarily file your individual income tax return you risk losing your refund and the IRS may file a substitute return for you.

This return might not give you credit for deductions and exemptions you may be entitled to receive.


The IRS may send you a Notice of Deficiency proposing a tax assessment. Filing a past due return after the Notice of Deficiency was sent does not extend the 90 day period for filing a petition to the United States Tax Court.

However, the past due return will be considered in determining whether there will be a reduction in the amount of tax increase previously proposed in the Notice of Deficiency.


If you do not file a petition in Tax Court and a tax increase has been determined, the IRS will proceed with their proposed assessment as a substitute return. If the IRS files a substitute return, it is still in your best interest to file your own tax return to take advantage of any exemptions, credits and deductions you are entitled to receive. The IRS will generally adjust your account to reflect the correct figures


Next week:  Collection Action – How to Appeal an IRS Decision


(IRS Publication 594 and IRS.gov) (TTT 11/19/19)