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Houston IRS Back Tax Returns

A tax professional computing back taxes for a client and filing a form.

Nobody wants to fall behind on their tax returns, but for a litany of reasons, it happens to millions of people every year. It is tempting to panic when you get that notice that you’re behind on filing, but the truth is, you are likely okay so long as you do not continue to delay filing your taxes. At worst, you will face some tax penalties for late filing. It is, however, vital that you act quickly to avoid the IRS processing their own tax assessment on your behalf.

Whatever notice for Houston IRS back tax returns you have gotten, Instant Tax Solutions can help you to get back on track. We will help you go through your records, establish your obligations, work with you to determine the credits and deductions to which you are entitled, and help you plan for the future. We will work tirelessly to help you to secure the financial solvency you need.

You do not have to lose hope if you are facing warnings for unfiled returns or unpaid back taxes. Just get in touch with us to find out about your options for tax relief and securing your financial future. Call (888) 921-3781 or reach out online today to schedule your free consultation with no obligation.

Where to Find Houston Filing Back Tax Return Help

Many people do not realize that even if you miss your filing deadline, you still have three years to file your return late. This applies whether you are filing your initial return that you missed or filing an amended return to fix mistakes on the original. In fact, sometimes filing an amended return can let you get a tax refund or reduce the amount you owe, as you discover deductions and credits to which you did not realize you were entitled. Of course, it is always better to file on time, especially since you will face failure-to-file penalties.

It is important, generally, that you make the commitment to get your records current. The longer you take to file, the more the IRS will charge you in back taxes and penalties. If you go too long, you may even face collection actions like asset seizure, liens on personal property, and other actions. Actively working with the government to get it straightened out can help you avoid these penalties and collections. Sometimes, it is as simple as setting up a payment plan.

It is vital that you reach out to a local IRS back tax returns agency like Instant Tax Solutions. We have over a decade of experience handling issues with filing back tax returns and offering solutions for paying back taxes. We know how the system works; we know how to negotiate with the IRS; and we have the knowledge and tools to help you with your IRS delinquent taxes.

We are here and ready to help. Our only goal is to help you get back on your feet and regain control of your financial stability. If you are looking for filing back tax returns help, we can work with you to develop a manageable plan and get your economic feet back under you.

Why File Late Back Tax Returns?

Never trust the IRS to perform its own assessment. Even if you are comfortable with this idea, they will apply tax penalties and fees that can leave you financially underwater quickly.

If you file your own return, even if late, you will be able to apply deductions and tax credits the IRS will not include. You also maintain your relationship with the IRS, making tax relief options easier to gain. Filing your own tax return also allows you to avoid the IRS making critical mistakes when calculating your income, penalties, and the like.

Finally, filing your own tax returns allows you to keep up with your own records and finances. When you must face creditors to get loans, mortgages, or lines of credit, you may have to review your financials with the creditors, and having your own on file makes you look much better.

The Process for Houston IRS Delinquent Taxes

Almost everyone files their taxes at the same time — usually on April 15. Most people also use Form 1040 or 1040-EZ to file their taxes, though independent contractors file as 1099 workers and need to file estimated payments quarterly. Some folks, like active military overseas, those involved in natural disasters, and other exceptions, may get automatic extensions. Everyone else is expected to file on time and accurately.

When you miss the deadline, you get assessed a late fee and will likely get a notice within 3 weeks of your filing deadline where the government asks you to render full payment and immediately file your return. You will get notices like these at least once a month moving forward.

When 90 days have passed, the IRS sends you form CP3219N, the Notice of Deficiency, informing you that the IRS will perform its own assessment of your tax burden. This assessment will almost never include credits or deductions to which you are entitled, so it will find a much higher tax burden than you might otherwise have. In addition, it will include all of the late fees and penalties for not filing on time.

It is important to note that if you owe nothing, or are due a refund, the IRS cannot assess late penalties, but they can deny your refund and any deductions you might have next year. You can dispute the IRS assessment by filing an amended return within three years to reduce or eliminate the back taxes the government says you owe, when applicable.

Seeking Relief for IRS Delinquent Taxes

Many people do not realize that the IRS offers several forms of relief for paying back taxes. These forms of relief are offered to those who have good reason not to file on time or to have missed payments, and who show every intention of getting caught up. These forms of back tax relief can include installment agreements, currently not collectible, penalty abatement, or offer in compromise solutions.

Installment Agreements

Installment agreements are probably the most common form of getting caught up on paying back taxes. These involve you working with the IRS to come up with a reasonable payment program where you pay off your tax burden in manageable chunks on a standardized schedule, just like making a car payment or mortgage payment. It is important, once you establish such an agreement, to stick to your financial plan. Instant Tax Solutions can help you to make and stay on such a plan.

Currently Not Collectible

A currently not collectible situation means that you are unable to pay due to demonstrated financial hardship. The IRS, in such situations, may grant you a grace period before you need to pay. During this grace period, you will not accrue financial penalties or collections efforts. It will enable you to get your finances in order and work out a plan of attack to get those back taxes paid.

Penalty Abatement

Sometimes the IRS is willing to remove some of the penalties and interest on your current owed taxes. This can reduce the amount you owe and make it easier to pay. You must show, however, that you intend in good faith to get caught up.

Offer in Compromise

Finally, an offer in compromise is an agreement whereby the IRS lets you pay less than the actual amount you owe and accepts that as payment in full. For the government to accept an offer in compromise you must prove that you are not able to pay what you owe, but you can make either a lump sum or payment series in the amount of the reduced offer. For many this is the best chance to substantially reduce their overall tax burden.

Why Seek Help for Houston IRS Back Tax Returns?

When you choose to reach out to a professional tax service for filing back tax return help, you are getting a dedicated, knowledgeable, experienced, and expert partner in handling your back tax burden.

At Instant Tax Solutions, our professionals are ready to help you go through your accounts in detail so we have a clear picture of where you stand. We will also catalog all of the communications you have from the government to ensure that they have done what they are required to do.

When we have a complete picture of where you stand, we can then address your financial situation and existing tax burden. This will allow us to present a clear road with your tax relief options and how we can get you back in shape financially. We will help you file your most recent return and returns for any of the past three years, if necessary. We can then help you determine whether you are eligible for certain forms of relief and what you can do to pay down your tax obligations with as minimal hindrance to your own finances as possible.

Getting your existing tax burden squared away is only the beginning of the journey. After this, we will work with you to prepare for the future. We will get you in shape with a plan of action to avoid mistakes in the future, stay solvent, and look to the bright financial road ahead with no more paying back taxes.

Instant Tax Solutions is Ready to Help

Instant Tax Solutions is here to help you get control over your financial future once more. We are here to provide you a plan of action, a vision of solid economic footing, and above all else, the peace of mind you need. We are a dedicated partner ready to help you get back on the road to financial freedom.

If you are ready for help paying back taxes, we are ready to listen. Call us at (888) 921-3781 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation today with no obligation.

Get Compliant Again by Filing IRS Back Taxes

Filing delinquent tax returns is imperative, even if payment cannot be made. Settlement of back taxes cannot be negotiated until the taxpayer is compliant. You can avoid having unfiled taxes by filing for an IRS extension.

Consequences of Not Filing IRS Delinquent Tax Returns

  • Negligence of filing back taxes may be viewed by the IRS as a criminal act.
  • Substitute for Return (SFR) can be filed for you by the IRS, allowing only the minimal deductions.
  • The statute of limitations does not begin until the tax returns are filed, giving the IRS 10 years from the date of filing to collect.
  • Interest and penalties will be added to the tax debt at an alarming rate.

Preparing to File Past Due Returns

In order to file your back returns, we will need to go through the following steps:

  1. Gather documentation for all years not filed.
    • W-4’s, 1099’s, earned interest, etc.
    • Expenses and deductions
    • Exemptions
  2. Go Through Consultation with One of Our Tax Experts
    • Complex IRS tax codes and laws
    • Missing deductions/filing errors
    • Negotiation for IRS tax relief
    • Advice on which years are required for compliance.
  3. File Past Returns
    • Filing back taxes is necessary, even if payment cannot be made
    • Amend returns to reduce the tax liability.

Paying Back Taxes

First and foremost, unfiled returns must be submitted.  If SFR’s have been filed, original tax returns must be prepared. If full payment cannot be made, negotiations with the IRS must begin.

Notices and Letters You Might Receive

If there has been no communication from the IRS regarding un-filed or delinquent taxes, it is a common belief the IRS has overlooked your case. You will be located eventually – with detrimental consequences.

The Record-Keeping System

The Record-Keeping System for federal tax revenue is linked to Social Security and all state computers. Because of the enormous amount of data stored in this network, the system works slowly. Many years can pass before a taxpayer receives notification of tax liabilities. But when the case workers get around to your case, they will pursue it harshly, to get the money they are owed.

Types of IRS Notices and Letters You May Receive

The federal government sends these notices and letters as a warning to delinquent taxpayers before initiating aggressive collection action:

  • Changes to Tax Return, Balance Due
  • Reminder – Balance Due
  • Second Reminder – Balance Due
  • Final Notice – Balance Due
  • Installment Agreement Reminder Notice

Aggressive IRS collection action begins with these notices:

  • Notice of Intent to Levy Bank Accounts, Wages and/or Assets
  • Final Notice Before Levy on Social Security Benefits
  • Notice the Levy has Been Issued
  • Bank account funds have been frozen
  • Wages have been garnished
  • Personal assets will be seized (i.e. house, car, etc.)

Unfortunately, many taxpayers are unaware the IRS has located them until their bank or employer notifies them of the levy.

Ignoring These Notices and Delaying Action Is Costly

Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous and destructive things you can do is to continue ignoring these letters and notices. Avoiding your tax problems will result in a much greater outstanding liability, and more penalties and interest charges added on. Some of the other possible consequences include:

Avoid a Substitute for Return, and File Your Past Returns Yourself

Neglecting to file tax returns opens the door for the IRS to exercise a powerful action against a taxpayer. The IRS has the authority to prepare and file a Substitute for Return (SFR) on your behalf. If the IRS must file an SFR for a delinquent taxpayer, it will be prepared in the best interest of the government. Taxpayers are given only one personal exemption, zero dependents, and the standard deductions. To determine taxable wages, the IRS will draw from:

The SFR is an estimate of taxes owed and is often greater than the actual tax liability. Once they file the tax assessment on the SFR, they can legally begin serious collection action. It is now more important than ever to call a qualified expert to help you navigate their obstacles and hurdles.

Proposed Assessments

The Notice of Proposed Assessment letter informs a non-filing taxpayer of the estimated tax liability contained in the SFR. This notice states:

  • You have 30 days to respond to the IRS to avoid collection action.
  • The IRS has no record of receiving your tax return.
  • You owe the proposed tax amount with penalties and interest based on income reported.

You will be instructed to submit:

  1. Your signed, past due tax return (Form 1040),
  2. The signed Consent to Assessment and Collection form, or
  3. A personal statement explaining why you do not need to file, etc.

At this point, it is imperative you do not act hastily out of confusion or intimidation. Prior to signing or agreeing to anything, consult with a tax attorney who can advise you of your options. You may need assistance filing past due returns to replace the SFR‘s, disputing the amount of the back tax debt, proving you are not liable for the tax debts, or qualifying for a tax debt relief program.

Negative Effects of a Substitute for Return (SFR)

Even if you are unable to pay your taxes, it is always best to submit your return to prevent the IRS from filing a Substitute for Return for you. The filing of an SFR has negative effects for the taxpayer:

  • You are given one personal exemption, zero dependents and standard deductions.
  • The income reported may be incorrect.
  • You may have a much higher tax bill than necessary.
  • The Statue of Limitations does not apply to the SFR, permitting the IRS to pursue collection indefinitely.
  • An unsigned SFR, not replaced by an original return, does not qualify the tax debt for discharge in bankruptcy.
  • Tax refunds can be permanently lost.

If you have had a SFR filed on your behalf, and want to see how much you can save by having your old returns filed, please give us a call today, and we can see how we can help you!

How to Pay Your Back Taxes, and Avoid Further Penalties and Fees

The IRS is becoming more cooperative than ever. In the current economy, they are willing to offer delinquent taxpayers various options for getting out of their problems. However, they remain focused on collecting as much of the debt as possible.

It is very helpful to consult with a tax lawyer who is skilled in negotiating with tax problems like yours. Frequently, a reduced settlement amount can be reached and/or penalties and fines can be forgiven. An experienced tax attorney is aware of all IRS programs for which you may qualify.

Attempting to deal with the government without representation can subject a taxpayer to paying more than necessary, or accepting an unreasonable payment plan.

Options for Paying

The governement offers several opportunities to settle tax liabilities. To determine if a taxpayer will qualify for tax debt relief, the main consideration is their financial condition. A qualified federal tax agent (like one of ours) is your best advocate for guiding you in accepting the right settlement, and for protecting you from disclosing unnecessary information that could be detrimental to your case. Programs for paying back taxes fall into two categories:

  1. You can enter into an agreement to settle your back tax debt for less than the amount owed, or
  2. If the tax liability cannot be reduced, you can apply for special consideration regarding the full amount due.

Settling For Less Than You Owe

Offer in Compromise (OIC) The OIC is the most sought-after settlement method by taxpayers, but it is also the most difficult for which to qualify. OIC gives the IRS authorization to reduce outstanding tax liabilities, including interest and penalties, for less than the full tax due. The burden is on the taxpayer to convince the IRS that the amount demanded could never be collected from you and would force you into financial hardship.
Penalty Abatement Taxpayers may request the elimination or reduction of IRS imposed penalties. Key to a favorable outcome is the taxpayer’s ability to convince the IRS of a sound reasonable cause for failure to follow tax laws. A few examples of “reasonable cause” are:

  • Death or serious illness
  • Destruction of tax records by any casualty
  • Unavoidable absence of the taxpayer
  • Inability to determine tax amount for reasons beyond taxpayer control
Lack of funds Acceptable only if the taxpayer can support solid proof of prudent financial management
Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA) A taxpayer may qualify for a reduction of the total tax liability initially owed the IRS. The taxpayer must be able to provide financial proof they cannot make the minimum monthly payment required by the IRS. A PPIA agreement with the IRS can then be negotiated to pay the reduced amount over a period of time.

Settling for the Full Amount You Owe

Guaranteed Installment Agreement (GIA) If your assessed tax liability is $10,000 or less, you may qualify for a GIA without IRS financial analysis or IRS manager approval. The taxpayer must be able to pay the tax debt in full within three years, and must not have had an IRS Installment Agreement during the previous five years.
Streamlined Installment Agreement (SIA) If your assessed tax liability does not exceed $25,000, you may be able to negotiate for an SIA, and bypass the IRS financial analysis and manager approval. The taxpayer must be able to fully pay the tax debt over the next 60 months.
IRS Installment Agreement (IA) Requests for Guaranteed or Streamlined Installment Agreements that do not meet IRS qualifications will be placed under intense financial scrutiny. The IRS will require all information regarding your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. The approximate time limit for an IA is 5 years. If the assessed tax liability cannot be paid within 5 years, another tax debt relief plan should be considered. IRS negotiations at this level are better handled by an experienced tax attorney to represent the taxpayer’s best interest. NOTE: Before any IRS installment agreement can be considered, the tax payer (a) must have filed all tax returns due, and (b) must file and pay all tax returns during the agreement.

Currently Not Collectible (CNC) Status

The IRS may determine a tax liability to be Currently Not-Collectible and defer collection action due to “hardship”. You will continue to owe the back taxes, and penalties and interest will still accrue. The IRS will periodically review your income and expenses watching for financial improvement, but further collection activity will be suspended. A few of the reasons a case may be marked as CNC include:

  • Collection of back taxes would cause undue hardship for the taxpayer, leaving no room to meet necessary living costs
  • Death of a taxpayer with minimal assets
  • Special action, i.e. military assignment in a combat zone, or incarceration
  • Catastrophic illness, personal or family
  • Bankruptcy or suspension of business with no remaining assets

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I can’t pay my taxes. Why file?

The government views the failure to file a tax return as a criminal act which begins as a misdemeanor and can elevate to a felony. However, the failure to pay is only a civil manner. Always file a return even if you cannot pay. You cannot qualify for any tax relief help if you have not filed your tax return(s).

Is it possible to get an extension and not have to pay interest and fines?

Not usually. Your filing date may be extended for up to for six months, but they still require full payment by April 15th to avoid penalties and interest. Occasionally, penalties may stop accruing, but compounding interest continues.

I didn’t get my refund. Why not?

Your refund may have been applied to a delinquent tax debt from previous back taxes owed. It can also be used to pay various delinquent government loans, overdue child support, or Social Security overpayment. Consult with a tax attorney to verify application.

Will the IRS actually come to my house?

Yes. If you have not responded to the notices or phone calls, your case will be assigned to a local revenue officer to locate you. However, an agent cannot enter your home without your permission unless they have a court order.

Do they have the right to take my home?

Yes. They have the authority to seize and sell your home, car, etc. to pay delinquent tax debts from returns un-filed and balances still owed.

Will I get any warning before they freeze my bank accounts or seizes my assets?

Yes. The IRS must notify the taxpayer prior to levy or seizure. Notices must be sent certified mail to your last known address. However, many delinquent taxpayers move frequently and do not receive these notices.

Can you be sent to jail for not filing tax returns?

It is possible, but not likely. The federal government considers the act of not filing returns as being non-compliant with tax laws. Tax fraud or evasion charges are usually brought against individuals in organized crime or public figures.

Is the IRS ever willing to deal with you?

Yes. Especially now in the current economy. There may programs and debt relief options available for collecting on money owed, and cleaning up the problems.

Does a taxpayer have any rights at all?

Absolutely. The Declaration of Taxpayer Rights declares these rights for:

  • Protection of Your Rights
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Representation by a Legal Counsel, CPA, or Federally Enrolled Agent
  • Payment of Only the Correct Amount
  • Help with Unresolved Problems
  • Appeals and Judicial Review
  • Relief from Certain Penalties and Interest

What’s the difference between a levy and a lien?

A levy is the legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax liability. An lien is used as security for a debt and will prevent you from selling or refinancing your home, cars or other property.

I only owe payroll taxes. Can the IRS go after my personal assets?

Yes. The IRS can assess the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty even if the business is defunct. The penalty for willful failure to pay withheld income and employment taxes can be assessed against the individual(s) responsible for collecting and paying these taxes.

Will ignoring the IRS notices make them give up?

Rarely does the federal government ever “give up”. Ignoring them will lead to more forceful collection action such as a bank account levy, wage garnishment, or seizure of property. Responding to their letters and notices as soon as possible will avoid a hostile event or environment.

Can I settle my tax debt for less?

Possibly. You may be able to apply for an Offer in Compromise (OIC), commonly touted by unethical tax relief firms as the “pennies on the dollar” program. Qualifying for an OIC is complex and is best handle by a experienced tax lawyer, who may also be able to negotiate the waiving of different penalties, fines and interest charges.

What are Installment Agreements?

Taxpayers can enter into an Installment Agreement allowing monthly payments over a set period of time to fully repay the tax debt. The government offers different types of agreements to best accommodate the taxpayer’s financial situation.

How can I get the IRS to classify my tax debt as non-collectible?

After a review, they will determine your financial circumstances, and if you qualify for a Currently Not Collectible status due to:

  • Collection for back taxes would cause undue “hardship” for the taxpayer
  • Special action, i.e. military assignment, or incarceration
  • Catastrophic illness, personal or family
  • Bankruptcy or suspension of business with no remaining assets

Can my tax debt be included in bankruptcy?

Yes and no. Payroll and federal excise taxes cannot be included. Personal income taxes can be listed, but only if the complex criteria of the Bankruptcy Code are met. Consult an experienced bankruptcy lawyer for guidance.

Is my accountant forced to disclose my information?

Yes. Only information disclosed to your lawyer is protected. That is why it is best to have a qualified tax attorney represent you in negotiations.

What does “innocent spouse” mean?

If a taxpayer qualifies for “Innocent Spouse” relief, they can avoid the joint liability for any taxes, interest and penalties related to the spouse (or former spouse).

What is the statute of limitations on IRS collections?

The IRS has only 10 years to collect delinquent taxes. Taxpayers erroneously believe if they “wait out” this period, they are home free. This is usually not the case. Even though it may take many years, the government has the ability to locate you through multiple, computer-linked sources. Also, the 10-year statute of limitations can be extended by:

Related Tax Problems

Un-Edited Client Reviews

Linda C.
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The experience was a painless one with no hassles of hoops to jump. I had a debt of $16,000.00 and ended up paying $1,700.00. They handled everything from start to end with a very positive resolution. The entire staff was very helpful and courteous through the process with no gimmicks. Keep on with the GREAT work.

Kurtis and Jennifer S.
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I just want to say what outstanding service I received from Instant Tax Solutions. They helped us through a very hard time in our lives when we needed it most. We can’t thank them enough for all their hard work and dedication. They truly are the best in the business at getting people out of Tax troubles, and we would refer them to anyone that are having hard times and in need of help from the IRS.

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I had ten years of taxes I hadn’t filed. I was really nervous and didn’t know what to do. I checked the IRS website for tips on selecting a company. Instant Tax Solutions had a good rating and made me feel comfortable working with them. A burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Thank you Instant Tax Solutions!

Kathleen R.
"I called Instant Tax Solutions and within 3 days my levy was released"

I had a very serious tax problem, I was basically looking at the end of my life as I knew it. I called Instant Tax Solutions and within 3 days my levy was released and the monthly installment agreement was far better then I could have ever hoped for.

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I owed the IRS $160,000 in back taxes. I had a wage garnishment and my case was assigned to a Revenue Officer. I did not know what to do. Instant Tax Solutions was able to get my garnishment before my next paycheck. When all was said and done, they saved me over $100,000.

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Armando & Sofia M.
"Within 48 hours of contacting ITS, the levy was released..."

I received an IRS notice of a levy on my wages. Boy, was I scared. Within 48 hours of contacting ITS, the levy was released and now ITS is helping me to get caught up on unfiled returns. Thank you ITS!

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