A couple reviewing tax records and tax returns

How Far Back Can You File Taxes?

If you’ve fallen behind on filing your taxes, you’re not alone. There are a multitude of reasons that people get behind on taxes, from family emergencies to mental health crises to natural disasters. This can turn a difficult situation into an even bigger source of stress, but fixing the problem might not be as bad as you think.

You can file back taxes for any year, no matter how far in the past. However, in order to be considered “in good standing” with the IRS, you only need to have filed your federal income tax return for the previous six years. Unfortunately, if you are owed a tax refund, the IRS will only pay you up to three years past the due date.

One of the biggest challenges of filing back taxes is finding the right tax documents to show your income, deductions, and tax credits. Hiring professional tax preparation services, such as S.H. Block, can help you rebuild your financial history and get those past due tax returns properly filed.

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A person reviewing tax paperwork with a professional

What Is a Partial Pay Installment Agreement (and Do I Qualify)?

Many people find themselves in a situation where they owe $10,000 or more in back taxes to the IRS. This can be so overwhelming that they choose to ignore the problem, since they know they cannot pay the IRS such a huge amount. If you’re one of those people, take a deep breath. There may be manageable payment options that you don’t know about yet, and you may even pay less than the full amount that you owe—if you qualify.

With a partial payment installment agreement (PPIA), you make monthly payments to the IRS until the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED), at which point the remaining tax debt is forgiven and erased. The catch is that it can be challenging to qualify for this type of agreement, because you must prove to the Internal Revenue Service that you cannot afford to make payments that would satisfy the entire tax debt.

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A traveler waiting at the airport with his passport in hand

Can I Get a Passport if I Owe Taxes to the IRS?

While federal taxes are the realm of the IRS, and passport issuance is under the purview of the State Department, the IRS is able to influence other governmental agencies when it comes to overdue taxes.

While the IRS can take away your driver’s license or your professional business license if you’ve fallen behind on your taxes, denying or revoking your passport is a sign that your debt has reached “seriously delinquent” status. If you owe the IRS more than $59,000 total in back taxes, penalties, and interest (this is the 2023 number, which is adjusted annually for inflation), then your debt has been classified as “seriously delinquent tax debt.”

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A black woman going through her mail outside of her mailbox

How Many Notices Does the IRS Send Before a Levy?

Have you received an IRS notice telling you of their intent to levy your property? The IRS has many different ways to collect from you if you owe them a tax debt. A tax levy is just one of those ways—but it is one of the most serious. 

Because of the severity of a levy, the IRS will send 5 notices to an individual before seizing the money in the taxpayer’s bank account. After 4 notices, they can seize your state income tax refund without further warning. Once you receive the final notice of intent to levy, you have the right to appeal their decision, but it is better to address the problem before it gets to this point.  

If you have received notice of intent to levy (or notice of a federal tax lien), it’s important that you do not ignore the IRS. The consequences of a lien or levy can be very serious—and may affect your livelihood. They can seize assets like your wages and bank accounts, and they can put a lien on your house (which can make it nearly impossible to sell). For businesses, they can seize or freeze all business accounts, making it very difficult to keep operating. 

A lien or a levy is a very stressful challenge to face, and if you need help you can contact a tax attorney like S.H. Block. Check out the end of this article to schedule your free consultation to discuss your bank levy or wage garnishment options. 

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An IRS officer knocking on the door of a homeowner for a visit

How to Handle an IRS Revenue Officer Home Visit (or Office Visit)

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has received a big increase in funding—which has also led to a major hiring spree. Just over half of the $80 billion in new funding was allocated towards “enforcement.”

While the IRS falls short around $600 billion in collection every year, and the increased funding is allocated towards recouping those tax liabilities, some have criticized this spending bill for its potential to unfairly affect low-income taxpayers.

Regardless of the politics, our office is already seeing the effects of the increase in employees. The S.H. Block team is witnessing the ramp up of collection efforts, with an increase in unannounced revenue officer visits. Many of these officers are newly trained and are not necessarily following the same protocols that we’re accustomed to.

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A person consulting with a tax resolution specialist

What Exactly Can a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist Do for You?

Many people fall behind on their taxes, start to receive notices from the IRS, and/or find themselves in a troublesome situation with the Internal Revenue Service. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you may receive advice about seeking out a certified tax resolution specialist. What does this mean? How can they help?

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A business owner on the phone while reviewing his accounts

What Triggers an IRS Audit? And Am I (or My Business) at Risk?

There are few things in life that inspire fear and anxiety like finding out you are being audited by the IRS. Just thinking about the potential implications for your personal life and your business can be headache-inducing, at the very least. But is there anything you can do to avoid an audit? After all, audits are random, aren’t they?

While only IRS insiders know the actual algorithm responsible for audit triggers, we know that there are a few red flags that can put you on the short list for an audit.

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What Happens if I Default on My IRS Installment Agreement?

Installment agreements can be a useful way to resolve your back tax problems, but can also lead to problems if you commit to larger payments than you can afford. The blog will explain what can happen if you default on an installment agreement, how to get right again with the Internal Revenue Service, and why you should have a tax professional help.

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statute of limitations irs tax liens

Is There a Statute of Limitations on IRS Tax Liens?

Whether you owe a few hundred dollars or hundreds of thousands, tax debt can be extremely stressful and have serious adverse effects on your personal and professional life, especially when it leads to a tax lien. Thankfully, there are many ways to reduce or even eliminate your tax debt entirely—one of which is to allow the statute of limitations on your tax liability to elapse.

In this blog, we’re going to discuss the statute of limitations on IRS and Maryland tax liens, as well as how you can eliminate these liens before these deadlines expire.

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can the irs levy a business account for personal taxes

Can the IRS Levy a Business Account for Personal Taxes?

If you own or manage a business and owe back taxes personally, outside of your business ventures, you might be wondering if the Internal Revenue Service can levy your business account to collect that liability. Thankfully, they cannot. However, an IRS levy against your business bank account is a very serious collection tactic and requires serious and immediate action.

Keep reading to learn more about business bank account levies and the steps you can take to resolve your tax liability before things get any worse.

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