Personal Taxes

Getting into Compliance with the IRS after Years of Unfiled Returns: Reflections

With "tax day" now behind us, we at Washington Tax reflect on the customers who contacted us this "tax season" with a particular ear to "what motivated them to finally get into compliance?" What spurs people to get back into the tax system? Are these fears based on real evidence? Is there something besides guilt/shame that should motivate you? Here's a few observations...

1. Patriotic duty? Perhaps decades ago -- when our country was entangled in WWII - was filing and paying taxes considered a patriotic duty. Unfortunately in today's much different political environment - patriotic duty is not the motivator to file taxes as it once was.

2. Fear of going to jail? We find that fear of going to jail as a big catalyst of people to take action although the IRS is probably less inclined to jail you for non-filing in 2016 then in any day in its history (budget-cuts).

3. Getting a passport? Immigration and the IRS are working together more closely in recency- Passport Revocation News. Not filing a tax return and owing taxes can put restrictions on overseas travel more so then it did in the past.

4. Self-interest? Well if you count #2 and #3 above, self-interest and self-preservation do rule the day. And if you are self-employed, filing back taxes and then settling with the IRS might ALSO have a big net positive effect: increasing your social security benefits at a dramatic discount (!).

Is 2024 the year to solve your tax issue? WATAX is ready to assist you now. Please call us at 1-888-282-4697 or email us a description of your tax issue and we'll contact you promptly.

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