If you did not file your tax returns for prior years, the IRS may wait patiently for some time, but at certain point the returns could be prepared for you. Based on such returns, the IRS will demand payments of thousands of dollars in back taxes. Do not panic but read the next paragraphs.
The IRS will prepare substitute returns based on all available incomes reported to them by various institutions such as your employer, banks and other financial institutions. The IRS; however, will NOT include in the returns any deductions you deserve, even if they know about the potential deductions (such as interest on mortgage). The solution to this problem is to do and file your own returns in which you use all allowed deductions and credits. The tax law allows you to file your own return even when the IRS prepared it for you. Your own return overrides the IRS prepared one.
The major minus here is that you cannot get a refund when you file the taxes over two year after they were paid (such as estimated taxes). So, even if you show refunds on your prior year returns, they will be treated as having zero refund. In other words, if you owe taxes for other years the refund will not be refunded to you, nor will be used to offset taxes you owe for any other year. However, if you have a balance due on the tax return you prepared, the balance will not go away. On top of what you owe, the IRS will add penalties for late filing and interest for underpayment. This works like a one-way street.
The advantage; however, is that by doing your own tax return(s) you may significantly reduce or completely eliminate tax owned tot eh IRS, as compared to the returns done by the IRS.
So, if your received a note from the IRS that they did a substitute return for you, and you owe thousands of dollars, do not panic. Contact us for review of your tax situation. There is not charge for the initial consultation. You may save yourself a lot of money and aggravation by talking to our office.