Unfiled Tax Returns

Unfiled Tax Returns

All US citizens, residents (tax and legal residents) and even non-residents (if they have US-source income) that meet the filing requirements for a tax return must file a U.S. tax return on their worldwide income and in many cases a state tax return as well. If you are required to file a tax return and have unfiled tax returns, your tax problem may never go away. If you haven’t filed your tax return for many years, the fear and paranoia of having unfiled tax returns has paralyzed you into inaction and procrastination. Yes, your tax problem may never go away. But, if you get help and file your returns, it will go away. So will the fear and paranoia.

Consequences Of Unfiled Tax Returns

The statute of limitations for a federal return does not start until all unfiled tax returns have been filed. Further, the resolution of any tax problems in addition to the unfiled tax returns cannot be resolved until the unfiled returns have been filed.

If you have an unfiled tax return, you can suffer additional consequences including:

  • Delay in receiving a refund: a refund will not be issued until all unfiled returns have been filed
  • You will be charged penalties and interest for any tax owed
  • The IRS or state may file a return on your behalf known as a Substitute for Return (SFR) that generally will result in more tax owed vs. a return that is prepared and filed. This is because the incorrect filing status may be used and credits and deductions could be understated
  • Collection actions: If a substitute return is filed and there is tax owed, the tax authority will start collection efforts to obtain the amount due
  • Loss of refund: if you don’t file a return to claim a refund that you are due by the statute of limitations deadline, you will lose the refund. For example, for your federal return, you have three years from the regular due date of the return to request a refund from the IRS by filing your unfiled return
  • Grief and stress from your spouse, fiancé or significant other in having these unfiled returns hanging over your heards
  • Not being eligible for student loans for yourself, spouse and dependents
  • Inability to obtain a loan, mortgage or mortgage refinance
  • Many sleepless and restless nights


But don’t be afraid of the dark, or the unknown. Meet the tax problem head-on and get back into compliance.

Losing Your Tax Refund

For your federal return, generally you have three years from the due date of the return to file a claim for the refund by filing your tax return. If you don’t file within that statute of time to claim the refund, the government will keep your refund.

What Should You Do If You Have Unfiled Tax Returns

File your tax return and do so on time. If you owe taxes and don’t file, the penalties incurred for not filing are significantly higher than the penalties that will be assessed for not paying. Thus, even if you currently can’t pay, at the minimum, file. However, the sooner you can file and pay, all the better.

How Many Years Of Unfiled Tax Returns Should Be Filed

While there is certainly no well-established rule as to how many delinquent returns must be filed, the general consensus is at least six tax years since the applicable criminal statute of limitations for most tax related crimes is six years. Initially speaking though, six years is what the IRS will expect.

Section 4.12.1.3 (10-05-2010) Enforcement Period – Policy Statement 5-133 (P-5-133), IRM 1.2.14.1.18, Delinquent returns—enforcement of filing requirements, discusses delinquent returns and the enforcement filing requirements. The enforcement period is not to be more than six years. See Section 4.12.1.3 .

This is ultimately a decision that you need to make, however we recommend filing any unfiled tax returns and FBARs for at least 6 years back.

In addition, we would recommend we do some background work to determine what information the IRS and State has on file for you.

Nevertheless, please be advised that all delinquent returns should be filed and that there is no civil statute of limitations period for assessing tax on an unfiled return, but the IRS in most circumstances will request no more than six years’ worth of returns.

The IRS Or State May File A Tax Return On Your Behalf

If you don’t file a timely return, the IRS may file what is called a Substitute for Return (SFR). Most states have a similar process, although it may be called by a different term. In most cases, since the tax authority will be lacking information about you, such as deductions, credits, etc. the resulting tax liability will be higher than if you filed your own return.

Am I Alone In Having Years Of Unfiled Tax Returns?

While certainly you may feel that you are alone in facing your tax issues. The reality is no, you are not alone. There are countless others that have years of unfiled tax returns. It is so common that there are established laws, rules, procedures and standards of practice that tax resolution professionals adhere to with unfiled tax returns and bringing about the most optimal result.

While certainly it is not a problem that will disappear miraculously, millions of taxpayers with unfiled tax returns have taken the confident first step forward to get back into compliance with their tax filings. It may be daunting, but with professional assistance, the process is generally smooth and stress-free.

Should I File Delinquent Returns Myself?

When my car is having problems, I know it. There are symptoms that I may or may not know how to address and fix on my own. But with the complexity and all the technology in today’s cars, I have a professional fix my car. Because I know it will be done right and nothing will be overlooked – as long as I have selected a reputable and experienced professional. It’s the same with taxes, perhaps even more so.

We have decades of experience in the tax industry and we know what needs to be fixed and what doesn’t. We know the tax code and the IRS and state tax authorities extremely well. This backbone of your tax representation helps bring about the best possible outcome for you. The IRS and state authorities always work in their best interest – unfortunately, not yours. We work for you – for your interest to provide you with the best results for your unfiled tax returns.

Will I Have To Talk With The IRS Or States?

No. As our client, our job is to do all the legwork including all those hours of aggravating hours on hold waiting to speak with the IRS or state. You will not have to talk to the IRS or correspond with them. We will handle it all.

Samaritan Tax Relief Tax Resolution Support

One of your most important rights as a taxpayer is your right to have a qualified tax resolution professional, such as an Enrolled Agent (EA), represent you in front of the IRS and/or States and provide tax resolution.

When you hire Samaritan Tax Relief to assist you with your IRS and/or state unfiled tax returns, we will guide you through the preparation process while advocating on your behalf and protecting your interests.

Samaritan Tax Relief is here to help you because when you’re dealing with unfiled tax returns, the worst thing you can do is to do nothing at all? The best decision is to take the necessary first step and to file your returns now!

Our goal is to make sure that you pay the least amount of taxes that you are legally liable for.

Click on the “Get Help” button at the top of the page to take that first step.