You Can't Hide From the IRS: Three Tips for the Non-Filer

Reblogger Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Fred Griffin Real Estate Florida Broker BK436788
Original content by Gary Massey, CPA

In our Atlanta tax practice, we meet individuals every day who have unfiled tax returns.  We have seen situations where returns have not been filed for years, or even decades.


When the IRS discovers a non-filer (a common occurrance in our age where the internet makes it hard to hide from the government), an enormous bill for unpaid taxes, interest and penalties is generally the unhappy result.


The savvy tax advisor has a number of tools to get the non-filer out of this mess, including the Offer in Compromise and the Installment Agreement.  But before these tools can be utilized, back tax returns must be filed.  Why?  Because the IRS will not consider any tax resolution option if the taxpayer is not currently compliant.


Here are three considerations that we apply in our tax practice when advising clients who need to file back tax returns:


  1. Only the past six years of returns need to be filed in order to be considered "compliant" by the IRS.  Don't worry at this point about the older years.

  2. Before filing back tax returns, do a projection that calculates the impact of filing joint tax returns vs. married filing separately on a potential Offer in Compromise or Installment Agreement.  The difference can be surprisingly significant.

  3. Evaluate the benefit of filing the state tax returns before the federal returns.  This has to do with the computation required to determine eligibility for the various IRS programs. This seemingly minor matter can lock in a better mathematical result and make all the difference when trying to qualify for an Offer in Compromise.






If you have any questions about installment agreements, offers in compromise, catching up on back taxes, or any other tax issue, feel free to contact us at 678-235-5460.


You may also contact us by email at, or on our website. 


Our offices are in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta and we welcome face to face visits.


Please check out what our clients say on our Testimonials page.  We love our clients and this makes us proud!



Gary Massey, CPA

Massey and Company CPA

3 Alliance Center, 3550 Lenox Road NE, Suite 2100, Atlanta, GA 30326


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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I really don't think I could sleep if I didn't file my return. 

Nov 06, 2018 10:31 PM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for reblogging the post. I hope others will read it too and learn 

Nov 07, 2018 02:46 AM #2
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