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How to File Back Taxes

6In many cases, you will need to file back taxes before you can resolve other issues with the IRS. While nobody sets out to get behind on their taxes, this happens to millions of people every year. Although never fun, there are many things you can do to file back taxes with a high degree of success.

Here are several steps that you should consider following if you are ready to file back taxes:

  1. Gather all important documents for the year(s) that you did not file. This includes income verification, receipts, and anything else that you made need to successfully complete your return. If you do not have the proper income information you may need to request it from your employer or directly from the IRS.
  • You must find the tax form that was used for the year that you missed. All past forms can be found on the IRS website, or by contacting them on the phone. It is important that you file the right forms so that the IRS knows what year you missed.
  • Hire a professional. There is no rule saying that you have to do this, but there are definite benefits. For one, when you hire a professional you will be more confident in the steps that you are taking. Along with this, a professional can help you take advantage of as many deductions and credits as possible. And don’t forget that they can also assist in the payment of back taxes if any money is due. You may find that paying in full is not an option. With the help of a pro, you can decide on another method of payment.
  • Sign and date your return. Once you do this, you can send it off to your local IRS office. If you owe any money along with your return, be sure to send it at the same time. Of course, if you are applying for an installment agreement this may not suit you.
    • Tip: even if you cannot pay your liability you still need to file your back tax return.
  • How are you going to pay? This is something that you will think about during the steps above, but at some point you need to make a decision. If you do not pay in full, your best option is probably an installment agreement. This way you can pay smaller amounts every month until your debt is gone.

Some people think that filing back taxes is something that can wait – they are wrong. If you are in this situation, it is important to file as soon as possible. Remember, the IRS is going to catch on sooner rather than later. At that point, you will not have a choice because they will begin to pressure you. They can even file a substitute tax return on your behalf.

You should now have a better idea of what to expect if you need to file back taxes. What are you waiting on? The IRS wants your return!