Unfiled & Delinquent Returns

If you or your business meet the filing requirements, you are required by law to file your federal, state, and local tax returns by a legally prescribed due date. If you have earned income or have assets overseas, there are additional reporting obligations  Failure to file, whether willful or not, violates both criminal and civil law, even if you do not owe taxes.

The Moskowitz LLP tax attorneys and accountants have substantial experience in the preparation of previously unfiled and delinquent tax returns, and can prepare late returns for you even if you have lost all or part of your records.

The consequences of delay

IRS and state government officials now possess greater technology and resources to identify people with unfiled tax returns, and various programs enable them to enforce tax filing compliance, both criminally and civilly. One of the many things that the IRS and state can do, for example, is prepare and file a “substitute for return” (SFR) on your behalf, assigning income amounts based on a variety of highly arbitrary factors, and omitting any deductions or credits to which you may be entitled. It is, therefore, common for taxpayers who fail to file returns to receive erroneous tax assessments involving significant sums that they would not owe if they had filed appropriately.

In addition to having to pay more taxes, if you delay filing you risk:

  • Civil penalties of up to 75% of the amount owed
  • Tax audits
  • Seizure of your paychecks and bank accounts, tax liens and seizures of property, and other aggressive collection activities
  • Criminal charges for tax evasion, and if convicted, possible prison time and/or substantial fines

There are numerous options for handling tax issues, but as a general rule, the longer you wait the more difficult and complicated the issues become –and the resulting penalties become more severe. For example, tax settlements, installment agreements, and entry into the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program can all make a major impact on a tax problem, and can eliminate the worry and anxiety associated with neglecting it.

Tax compliance lawyers

Our experienced tax attorneys and accountants can help you remedy unfiled or delinquent individual or business returns, negotiate payment with the IRS and other taxing authorities, help you avoid or minimize penalties, and defend you in court if you have been charged with a tax crime and/or civil wrongdoing.  Call us today at 415-394-7200 for a confidential consultation.

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