If you haven’t filed taxes for a few years, first and foremost, take a big breath. It’s not great news, but it’s not the end of the world either. You might like to know that you are not alone; there are roughly 6 million non-filers in the U.S every year. There are many reasons people do not file, with IRS research showing that often people do not file in years that they have status changes, like the death of a spouse or a divorce. Emotional and financial hardships are also cited as reasons that people do not file their tax returns on time. There are also people who have simply procrastinated.
No matter what the reason, you need to know that the only way to deal with the back taxes is to get compliant and file your taxes. There’s no way around it. If you don’t, the IRS will determine what they think you should pay, and they will begin to put penalties and interest on top of what they estimate your tax liability to be.