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Ask a Tax Lawyer: "How to file 8 years of back taxes?"

I recently answered questions about back taxes on Lawyers.com and I recommend you review it to learn what you need to do in order to file 8 years of back taxes:

Question: What kind of lawyer do I need to file 8 years of back taxes? My wages have been garnished for the state taxes but I still need to file, is that correct?

Answer: a. If you need to file back taxes for any number of years, it would be best to contact an attorney who is skilled in both tax preparation and tax resolution. If the Internal Revenue Service does not show record of a return on file, they will often file a return for you. This information may be sent to your home state. This often leads to tax liabilities that are much higher than if you filed for yourself. This process does not give the taxpayer all of the deduction he or she would normally be entitled and the filing status is probably wrong. An experienced attorney in tax preparation and resolution can assist you in determining which tax years need to filed, filing those tax returns, and ensuring the returns are filed at the appropriate location within the confines of the Internal Revenue Service and the state. Additionally, if the Internal Revenue Service has filed a return for you, and in turn the state also, and there are balances; then an experienced tax attorney can assist you in handling collection enforcement, such as wage garnishments, liens, and levies in order to assist you in working towards a beneficial resolution.

b. In many instances, it is necessary to file both state and Federal tax returns. Some states have a program that can help reduce or eliminate penalties for filing late and paying late. Once penalties and interest are tacked on to the liability, the balances can become quickly unmanageable. An experienced tax attorney, can assist you with pursuing a resolution that could help you substantially reduce the balance owed. A tax attorney, can help determine which form of resolution such as a payment agreement, penalty waiver, or settlement agreement is more appropriate.

Question: My wages have been garnished from the state, but I still need to file. Is that correct?

Answer: Yes. Some states receive wage and income information from the Internal Revenue Service which they use to file tax returns on your behalf. Often these returns result in higher tax liabilities because you are not afforded the maximum deduction you would be entitled, if you filed the returns yourself. Once these substitute returns are filed by the state, the state will begin collection enforcement such as liens, levies and wage garnishments. In many instances, the state will not be willing to work with the taxpayer in resolving the liability until these returns are filed. In fact, filing these returns could result in lower balances or in some cases, no balances at all.

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