Answer: When a legally required income tax return isn’t filed on time, the IRS can file an income tax return on your behalf. It’s called a “substitute for return” or “SFR”. Most of the time the ensuing tax liability is much greater than if you filed your own return. This is because the IRS doesn’t give you credit for proper exemptions, credits nor (business) deductions. In addition, it’s a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine, for each year not filed.
The good news: McCauley Law Offices can prevent this from happening, but you must act fast. Once retained we can replace all “SFRs” with originally filed returns, reducing in most cases, what you owe. Once these returns have been filed, the next step is to negotiate a resolution with the IRS on the remaining amount owed. You will most likely be looking at one of two options – the Offer in Compromise or a properly structured payment plan.
The Offer in Compromise (OIC) was created for people who owe the IRS but who, for whatever reason, are unable to pay their tax debt off, even over time. The Offer in Compromise allows taxpayers to negotiate a settlement amount that will take care of the entire tax debt once and for all. This settlement agreement can lower the tax debt by a significant amount, however there are strict eligibility requirements.
If you do not qualify for the OIC then you may consider a payment plan, which if properly structured, allows you to pay off your debt over time by making manageable monthly payments, much like a commercial installment loan.