If it’s been a while since you filed a tax return, the thought of getting caught up can be daunting. Luckily, it’s not too late to get back on track, and even earn some extra cash.

Why You Should File

The main reason you should file your taxes? Because you have to.

It’s illegal not to file a tax return with the IRS, even if you don’t owe anything. You could actually face criminal charges up to six years after the return is due, and the IRS can collect debt from returns even older than that.

Filing on time every year also helps you avoid monthly 5% penalties and accrued interest that will put you even further in the hole. Plus, if you’re self-employed, failing to file means you’ll miss out on earning credits toward Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

But even if you haven’t filed for a few years, it may not be too late to recoup some cash. You can still receive tax refunds if you file within three years of the return’s original due date.

How to File Old Taxes

Typically, the IRS only cares about tax returns from the previous six years, so first, focus on that time frame before anything else.

Next, assemble the documents you’ll need to file from those previous years. You can even contact the IRS to request copies of your wage and income transcripts, which will help you get information from your W-2, 1099 or other tax documents.

Lastly, we recommend working with a tax expert who can research your exact situation, help locate any missing paperwork and set up a plan so you never miss Tax Day again.

Get Help

Let us help you with your missing returns — schedule a free consultation with one of our tax experts.