Monday Mishap: Haven’t Filed A Tax Return In Years
I haven’t filed a tax return in a long time – maybe four or five years. How bad is that?
It depends on your situation. Let’s start with the worst-case scenario.
If you owed taxes for the years you haven’t filed, the IRS has not forgotten. For each return that is more than 60 days past its due date, they will assess a $135 minimum failure to file penalty. The failure to file penalty, also known as the delinquency penalty, runs at a severe rate of 5% up to a maximum rate of 25% per month (or partial month) of lateness. You can read more on penalties here.
If you were due a refund and hadn’t filed, there’s good news and some bad news.
Bad news: for any year more than three years overdue, you cannot file a tax return and claim the refund.
Still have questions? Visit an H&R Block office near you for help catching up on back tax returns.
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