It’s in the IRS’s best interest that you only really think about taxes once a year. That right after April 15th you start forgetting to save those receipts, or noting your mileage, or learning about new deductions to take advantage of. It’s even in their best interest that you have back taxes, but forget to file a past income tax return.
Why? Because it’s easy. And simple. Something you can do only today. And because you can earn money doing so.
The fact is, most people who neglect to file their past income tax returns fall into a few categories: people who had pressing financial considerations, people who forgot to file an extension, and people who don’t earn much money.
Now, if you’re in the middle category, you might owe some money, but that’s still no reason to put off that past tax return. If you file a past tax return today, you keep your tax debt from increasing, which means you lower your money owed, which means you’ll end up saving money (and getting out of debt).
But, frankly, the middle group is pretty small. The other two groups are where the majority of late filers lie. And those are the people who most need to file a past income tax return–because they’re the ones the government owes money to!
The IRS doesn’t want a ton of people to know that they are owed money and eligible for that money up to three years after the original return was due. That would cause a rush of people going to file their past income tax returns. No, the IRS thinks it’s best to keep these facts under their hat so ordinary citizens won’t file a past income tax return and won’t start claiming all the money they’re owed.
Of course, now the secret’s out. Now you know. And now you’re thinking about how two years ago you didn’t file because you had all those medical bills. Or how last year you lost your job and didn’t think you made enough money to even bother filing. And now, maybe you’re starting to think about how many online past tax services there are. And how easy it would be to file a past tax return and receive your refund. With a direct deposit, the whole process could take less than a month.
Don’t let the IRS keep your refund. Don’t let the IRS keep the fact that they owe you money a secret. Get your old W-2s out and file a past tax return today.