Filing Past Due Tax Returns

If you filed your tax returns on time the April 15th filing deadline may seem like a distant memory. However, if you filed an extension or missed the filing deadline, the idea of filing a past due tax return should be fresh in your mind.

If you have tax returns that need to be filed you are not alone. It is not uncommon for some taxpayers to go one or more years without filing a tax return. Many times I have seen that a taxpayer fails to file a tax return in a year when financial and life circumstances changed. For reasons related to procrastination, fear, lack of funds, or any other combination of factors a tax return was not filed. An amazing thing happens at first when a tax return is not filed within the system of voluntary compliance- Nothing! Sometimes weeks, months, and years may pass before the IRS requests a tax return or issues a tax assessment for a previous tax year.

Whatever the reason for not filing, tax problems only get worse if a non-compliant taxpayer starts worrying about his or her financial situation but does nothing to change the problem. Everyone has reasons and a life story that explains why a tax return was not filed. It is important to understand and address your individual reasons to avoid future filing problems. The tax resolution process is focused on the future and moving forward. Try to not dwell on your past mistakes or reasons for not filing a tax return. Focus on taking action and following the tax resolution steps.

About the author

Scott M. Spann, CFP®, EA

Scott Spann CFP®, EA is a Fee Only financial life planner and the founder of LifeSpan Financial Planning, LLC located in Charleston, South Carolina. Scott has been providing financial planning advice for a diverse group of clients since 2000. He is a Fee-Only financial life planner practitioner with a strong orientation in areas of tax planning and financial life planning. Scott also specializes in investment planning, retirement planning, college planning, tax planning and incorporating life planning into the financial planning process. Scott is committed to the Fee-Only model of financial planning.

Scott is originally from Greenville, South Carolina and has called the Lowcountry his home since graduating from the College of Charleston in 1997. He began his financial planning career in 2000 after completing graduate studies at The Citadel (MA, 1999) in the field of psychology. This academic background helped shape his vision to help his clients make the smartest decisions possible with their money in a client-centered relationship. Scott completed his advanced financial planning studies at the College for Financial Planning.

Scott is a member of the Nation Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA). In addition to promoting Fee Only financial planning, Scott also devotes a significant amount of time promoting financial literacy and recently volunteered with Your Money Bus. He is a frequent guest on the Money Matters Radio Show on 94.3 WSC FM in Charleston, South Carolina where he provides financial planning advice to listeners. Scott also provides free financial counseling to military service members as part of the Department of Defense's Financial Readiness Program.

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