faqs about unfiled tax returns
  • March 15, 2021
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Taxpayers are required by law to file their tax return for the year in which there is a filing requirement. Most taxpayers file their tax returns on time voluntarily but there are times when some fail to file their returns or pay their taxes. There can be many reasons for not-filing taxes but unfortunately, not filing can create serious problems for taxpayers. Failing to file your tax returns can be costly in terms of potential penalties and missing out on any refunds. Let’s look at answers to 5 commonly asked questions about unfiled tax returns.

What happens if I ignore the IRS and do not file?

When a taxpayer fails to file their tax returns, the IRS can file a return for them which is called a ‘Substitute for Return’ or SFR. In the case of an SFR, the taxpayer is not allowed any deduction or credits and no filing status is granted to them. Also, the SFR includes late filing penalties.

Related Blog: The Right to Finality: What Taxpayers Facing IRS Problems Must Know

How far back can I get a refund on a late filed return?

It is important to file your returns within three years of the due date if you are due any refund for withholding or estimated tax. This also includes any extensions that you may have been granted.

What happens if I miss the notice deadline to file my late return?

After you miss the deadline on your tax returns, the IRS will issue delinquent return notices CP 59, CP 515, and CP 518. In such a case, you need to contact the IRS to know your status and get any special filing instruction. It is recommended to take professional help for unfiled tax returns to get a favorable outcome. A tax attorney can help you get additional time to file without any IRS enforcement actions, including SFR filing.

What is the statute of limitations on late filed returns?

Legally, there is no statute of limitation on unfiled tax returns. To assess tax deficiency, the IRS can pick any unfiled year in the past but rarely goes past the last six years for enforcement of non-filing. Also, in most cases, SFR enforcement is completed within three years after the due date of filing.

Related Blog: A Brief Guide To IRS Tax Investigations

Can I get penalty relief when I file a late return?

Yes. If you have a clean record: having filed all returns, paid all outstanding taxes, and do not have any penalties over the past three years, you can apply for ‘First-Time Abatement’ or FTA. Another way of obtaining penalty relief from the IRS is through ‘Reasonable Cause’. If you have experienced any circumstances that are outside of your control and have kept you from paying your tax dues and filing tax returns, you can request the IRS in writing for penalty relief due to Reasonable Cause.

Final Words

Handling unfiled tax returns is a complicated task, which is why it is recommended that you take professional help from seasoned tax attorneys. If you have any unfiled tax return and need expert help attaining IRS problem resolution, you must immediately contact the team of Dallas IRS tax lawyers at the Law Offices of Nick Nemeth, PLLC. Our experienced Dallas tax attorneys specialize in helping clients with IRS issues such as filing unfiled tax returns. To speak with one of our Dallas tax attorneys, call (972) 426-2553, or email jamie@myIRSteam.com. You can also fill out our contact form.

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Brent VahleBrent Vahle
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I called to see if they could help reduce some penalties and fees. The person I spoke with told me it might be counterproductive for them to take my case since their feels would likely equal the amount of penalty/interest abatement. I decided to pass on moving forward but was so happy to hear a legal team, or any business for that matter, who has that much integrity. I feel most others would likely try to take my money anyway. I hope I never have to go through this again, but if I do, I will definitely use the Law Offices of Nick Nemeth!
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Carla AtwalCarla Atwal
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Nick was wonderful in guiding me with direction on some tax questions I had. He was concise, and to the point, and was happy to provide general info to me at no charge. I truly appreciate him and would highly recommend him.
Miguel AlvaradoMiguel Alvarado
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By far the best attorneys I have ever worked with. They’re are very helpful and supportive from day one. They went above and beyond to make sure all my documents were submitted on time and gave updates as soon as they received them. I cannot name a single flaw in their work. Their team of assistants are very professional and seem to all be on the same page. I’ve made multiple phone calls and sent a ton of emails to their staff and they were able to help me all through the course of the case. I cannot express my gratitude enough for how excellent they handled my case.
Lucy FoyLucy Foy
06:55 19 Jan 24
My first appointment I had with, Tax Attorney Nick Nemeth, gave me such a sense of relief. He listened and gave me his professional advice, Mr Nemeth took my case. I was well kept updated, by phone calls and letters. That really impressed me and gave me so much confidence in them. The case went on for a couple of months. The day I received the call from one of his team members Kyle, informing me that the case was resolved and that I owed absolutely nothing to the IRS, I was overwhelmed with joy. I would recommend this law firm to anyone that needs help, with any tax issue. Thank you, to the Law Firm of Attorney Nick Nemeth and his team.
Bradley RunyonBradley Runyon
20:17 13 Jan 24
I received a tax bill in the mail from the IRS last year in 2023. The fees and penalties I owed were something I myself could not afford. I reached out to Nick Nemeth's firm and received the best experience you could imagine. The team was professional, educational, and fast. If you have a tax issue with the IRS using another firm other than Nick Nemeth's would be an error in judgment. I would recommend their services above others.
Sue HulsemanSue Hulseman
19:55 11 Jan 24
Working with Nick Nemeth and his team to resolve my debt with the IRS was the best decision I could have made. I felt such relief knowing I didn’t have to deal with the IRS myself. They did a wonderful job and were responsive to my questions and kept me abreast of my case. My outcome was exactly what I was hoping for. I strongly recommend using them if you have an issue to resolve with the IRS.
R GR G
20:53 21 Dec 23
I had an incompetent tax preparer, who also ignored several notices from the IRS, which in the end resulted in a lien on my property. I did not know what to do and an attorney friend recommended that I contact the Nick Nemeth Law Offices. I met with Jamie Flores and Ivan Nalbantov in December 2021 for a free consultation, and right away was impressed by their thorough examination of my paperwork and extensive knowledge of IRS tax laws. I felt not pressured and appreciated their advice and in the end decided that I would pursue resolving the issue by myself. I paid the IRS Civil Penalty and, as recommended also submitted a letter to the IRS requesting a refund and explaining what happened. I am glad to report that my persistence finally paid off. My case took two years to resolve and I finally received a full abatement/refund check from the IRS in December 2023. I could not have done this without the straightforward recommendation of Jamie and Ivan; and I highly recommend the Nick Nemeth Law Offices to anyone needing help with the IRS.
Susan WilsonSusan Wilson
03:27 25 Jan 23
I have been very pleased with the solid counsel and guidance that Nick Nemeth has provided me regarding my tax issue. I found him to be honest and straightforward which I appreciated. I was impressed with his relevant experience and knowledge . He has definitely brought me peace of mind during a difficult and stressful time.
Sarah HowardSarah Howard
03:44 14 Nov 22
I would like to thank Mr. Nick and his staff for the superb help that I received from them. My IRS problem was resolved quickly and efficiently. It took 2 visits to convince me that I was over my head. I thought that I could call the IRS, appeal my tax notices and settle on a payment plan on my own. After many phone calls to the IRS, waiting sometimes more than 4 hours with no resolution to speak of, it proved to be extremely difficult and stressful. Revisiting Mr. Nick was a huge wake up call. My account was reviewed, and a payment plan was established with the IRS within a week. I will be forever grateful to the staff who worked on my case and especially to Lorna who listened to me vent while going through this painful process.
M WM W
00:33 07 Aug 22
I cannot say enough good things about Nick and his team. When I first met with Nick he was up front, honest, friendly and efficient. When I worked with one of his attorneys, Eric B, I was just as pleased. All of the staff there are nice and very helpful. I wish I hadn't waited so long to get help with my issue. Over 6yrs I tried getting through and getting anywhere with the IRS and hardly made any progress. I know this may not be the case for all, and even I thought it would take longer than it did, but 3mos and they had my situation straightened out. I still can't believe it. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for all that you did for me. This is a huge burden gone out of my life now thanks to you. If anyone needs help out there, I know you may not want to shell out more money to get their help but it may just save you in the long run.
Spoilly GirlSpoilly Girl
23:49 03 Aug 22
The Nemeth Law team is exceptional. They treat their clients like a family member who is in crisis. They want you to get the best possible outcome. I really appreciate everything that they did for me. Jake and Ashley had the greatest role in my case and it all turned out for the best for me. Thank you Nick and team for easing my fears and getting me through the long process. I'm truly grateful.
Eddie WaltEddie Walt
19:44 12 Jul 22
During a time in which competent, professional service at a fair price seems to have disappeared, Mr. Nemeth and his team are a refreshing breath of fresh air.From my first phone call to the final settlement of our case with a non-responsive IRS, they under-promised, over-delivered and were in constant courteous contact to make sure we knew exactly what was happening and where we stood.I hope to never need their services again, but, should I receive another friendly letter from the IRS...I know who to call!
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