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Has it been years since you’ve filed tax returns? While the Internal Revenue Service may have not yet notified you, delinquent taxes will catch up to you sooner or later. And with technology and sharing of information advancing at light-speed, it may be sooner than you think.

The IRS may seek to impose a criminal offense for failure to file past tax returns as required. Even if you do file, the tax returns must be accurate and truthful because, if the IRS detects false returns, a fraud referral to the Criminal Investigation Division will be generated.

The IRS may also create a “substitute return” to establish an account for a taxpayer who refuses or is unable to file a required return. Such a return almost always results in a higher liability than if the taxpayer filed a tax return, because the IRS does not take into account any of the following:

  • basis information for assets sold
  • business expenses
  • adjustments to gross income
  • itemized deductions
  • married filing joint status
  • exemptions for dependents

Under certain circumstances, if the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t contacted you already, it may be possible to avoid criminal penalties and file a return that was previously unfiled. Back taxes could still exist once you file an overdue return.