The 2014 filing season has officially begun. If you have not filed in years or are looking for a tax preparer, then you must read this blog.
I have not filed a tax return in years!
If you have not filed in years, do not put off another year of filing. The failure to file a tax return is costly and exposes you criminally.
First, you may be owed a tax refund from the government. The IRS has a statute of limitations period which is the later of three years from the due date plus extensions or two years from when the tax was paid. Therefore, you can lose your tax refund by not filing timely.
Second, if you owe significant back taxes, don’t panic. By not filing, you are exposing yourself to large civil tax penalties, and possibly criminal, based on the amount of tax owed.
Finally, the government has options available as long as you are committed to staying compliant in the future. You can request an IRS payment plan, attempt to settle you tax debt for less through an offer in compromise, request a short-term extension to pay, or place your account in forbearance through a program called currently not collectible. The first step to tax relief is timely filing and timely paying all future liabilities.
Who should prepare my return?
Seek out a qualified tax return preparer to prepare your 2014 tax return. That means someone that has the education and experience in preparing taxes. If you had a medical issue would you go to a friend of a friend, who was not a doctor, to diagnose? No way! Would you diagnose the problem yourself? No way!
Filing an accurate tax return is essential to your financial health. You must have someone who has the proper background, i.e. a CPA, and who regularly prepares returns file your 2014 taxes. There are many individuals who have the proper education, designation and background, but simply don’t prepare tax returns. Find someone with both the tax education and experience.
Unfortunately, during the year, I discover tax preparer negligence in returns that I review. Anyone can complete a tax return, but many returns require an understanding of complex tax laws. Don’t be a penny wise and a pound foolish. There are competent tax attorneys, CPA’s and EAs that can adequately prepare a tax return for a reasonable price. That price can be competitive with Turbo Tax and other do-it yourself programs.
Why does my return have a large balance?
If you are a wage earner and have a large tax balance owed on your 2014 tax return, don’t panic. The most important step is to complete a revised W-4 and adequately adjust your tax withholdings. If you are self-employed and have a large tax balance owed, you are not adequately paying your estimated tax payments throughout the year. Now that the 2014 tax year has begun, you must become compliant and work out an arrangement to resolve your prior liability. Contact a tax attorney or CPA immediately to discuss and implement a strategy for tax compliance.
In either case, make sure that you file your 2014 timely despite the balance. If you can obtain a loan from a bank, family member, or friend, that’s the best option to resolve your tax matter. In some cases, you can write off the interest whereas in an IRS payment plan, the interest is not deductible. If you cannot obtain the money to pay the tax balance due, then contact the government immediately to begin working on a tax resolution.
Todd S. Unger, Esq. is a tax attorney that represents individuals and businesses who are undergoing civil and criminal tax audits and have large back taxes owed. Most tax issues are caused from either a tax return that was not completed correctly, the non-filing of a tax return, or inadequately withholding. If you have a tax problem and require a tax resolution, then contact Todd S. Unger, Esq, LLC. Todd S. Unger is available for weekend appointments and accepts all major credit cards. Call (877) 544-4743 to schedule confidential consultation.