I often get random emails from people who have found our website or found me on social media. They have general questions and do not want to book a call. And as a rule, we do not advise non-clients. This keeps our insurance company happy, and we like to get paid for what we do. But I will periodically include the questions I get with the answers in this blog.

Today’s question comes from Robert.

Dear Josh – I have not filed my taxes in several years due to being busy. I am scared that I will owe a lot of money and I cannot pay it. I am also afraid I am going to go to jail. How can I fix this?


Hi Robert,

The first thing I suggest is to hire a competent tax professional that can represent you before the IRS should the need arise. Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and Attorneys have unlimited representation rights before the Internal Revenue Service. Many times, people who have not filed their tax returns may not owe taxes and could potentially get a refund. There are specific time limits when you are due a refund. It is also worth noting that being “busy” is generally not a good excuse as most people are busy. However, there can be avenues for penalty abatement based on reasonable cause.

Now to address the going to jail part – like most answers in tax law, ‘It Depends” is often the best answer. Under Title 26 of the US Code § 7203 Willful failure to file a return, supply information, or pay tax is a misdemeanor and this can be enhanced to a felony under certain circumstances. The average person is rarely subjected to prosecution for failing to file tax returns. The important thing is to retain a competent tax professional to file your back tax returns and review the individual facts and circumstances of your case so that the best outcome can be achieved for you. We have helped people who haven’t filed a tax return in 15 years come into compliance.

Oftentimes there is a level of embarrassment that people feel when they have a tax problem. If they knew how common it is for people to encounter a tax problem at some point, they wouldn’t feel so embarrassed. I can assure you that many people you know have had tax problems. You can expect a judgment-free experience when you come to us to resolve your tax problems.

The first step in resolving your IRS problem is to book a discovery call today.