But the big question to solve this case is HOW MANY YEARS DO THEY FILE? This question has a textbook answer: ALL OF THEM. But in actuality, that is often NOT the case.
What Washington Tax does to solve this puzzle is researching EVERY CLIENTS case within 48 hours upon being hired. I am going to use a customer's case as an example of this research and how we solve the unfiled tax issue.
Through our research, we learn that our Central Californian client has NOT filed tax returns since 1999.
The IRS filed 2002 2003 2005 2007 2008 for the taxpayer creating a $45,000 liability. None of the other returns are filed EITHER.
So looking at his record:
2000 is TOO OLD - the information is NOT available and the IRS is NOT LOOKING FOR THE RETURN.
2001 - same conclusion.
2002 - Client will benefit from refiling the return to reduce what is owed by listing his business expenses on a Schedule C.
2003 - SAME
2004 - The IRS did NOT file this return for him - and they are NOT looking for it. So if we were in a rush - we might skip this one.
2005 - SAME AS 2002 2003
2006 - As this return is within the last 7 years - client should file.
2007 - SAME AS 2002 2003 2005
2008 - " "
2009 2010 2011 SHOULD ALL BE FILED TO BRING TAXPAYER IN COMPLIANCE.
However: if tax payer is going to be an Offer in Compromise case or a hardship case - we might forget about refiling 2002 2003 2005 2007 2008 and let the IRS' numbers stand. This would be the case also - if we were in a rush to get a garnishment or levy off.
You can read more about handling non filer situations here: