The IRS expects tax returns to be filed and to be filed timely. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to meet filing deadlines and many taxpayers simply fail to file their tax returns.
The IRS has a limited time to assess taxes. The term “assess” refers to recording the amount of the tax liability in the IRS’s records. Most taxpayers self-assess their tax liabilities by filing tax returns. The IRS simply accepts these tax returns as filed and records the tax liability in its records.
The time the IRS has to assess tax does not start to run if tax returns are not filed. This makes it possible for the IRS to go back and assess tax in these older tax years. The IRS does, in fact, go back and assess taxes in old tax years in these circumstances. This is why it is almost always advisable that taxpayers correct unfiled tax returns.
Another reason is that the IRS may prepare substitute returns that artificially inflate the amount of tax that is recorded in the IRS’s records. It is up to the taxpayer to correct these errors, preferably before the IRS actually collects the taxes that it assessed.
We can help with this. We help clients with tax returns including unfiled tax returns on a daily basis. Please contact us immediately if you have unfiled tax returns that need to be corrected.