208 Excuses Taxpayers Give for Not Filing a Tax Return

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When it comes to excuses for not filing a tax return, there is no shortage of excuses that taxpayers give. In this episode, I discuss some of those excuses. While it may not be all the excuses for not filing a tax return, these are the most common excuses.

1. I didn’t feel like filing a tax return this year.

Most taxpayers would agree they don’t like filing a tax return with the IRS or the State; but they do they do file a tax return whether they have a tax refund or an additional tax liability.

2. I forgot to file or pickup the returns.

There is always one taxpayer or two that will tell you that they forgot that the tax deadline is April 15th and October (with extension). I had one taxpayer who I would contact to ask them about filing a tax return or an extension to only have them call me up on April 14th or April 15th asking if I could file their tax return. They would also pull this on October 15th. Another taxpayer would be conveniently out of town on April 15th and October 15th.

3. I was confused about what I needed to file on the tax return or how I needed to file.

There is no shortage of tax preparers that will help you comply with the federal and tax laws that can answer your tax questions. The IRS and States have phone numbers for taxpayers to call if you have questions. It may be a little difficult to contact the IRS and the states as the deadline gets closer especially in the afternoon. I recommend contacting the IRS and states in the morning as soon as their offices open. 4 I had a death or serious illness that occurred.

The IRS and the states will often look at the circumstances and the relationship between the taxpayer and the individual that pass-away or was seriously sick when it comes to a death or illness to determine if they will waive the penalties and interest for late filing and / or late payment.

5. I received bad advice from a tax professional.

When to comes to bad advice, someone told you they didn’t think you needed to file or you didn’t need to complete a particular form. Depending on who the tax professional was, the IRS and states will determine if they need to waive the penalties and interest for late filing and / or late payment. If it’s your uncle Bob who is not a tax professional, the IRS and the states will most likely not waive the penalties and interest.

6. Filing a tax return is voluntary and not required.

The IRS and States have heard this excuse many times from taxpayers. Usually, this excuse is extended into the income tax amendment that created the income tax system wasn’t ratified by the states. Taxpayers can use this excuse if they want but be warned that it doesn’t work when you’re standing before the judge and the IRS.

7. I was deployed overseas in the military and didn’t have the time to file a tax return or an extension.

The military will often work with the IRS to extend members of the military tax returns in April who are deployed overseas. But, it is still your responsibility to extend your extend and meet the filing deadlines. 8. My records were destroyed.

The IRS and the states will work with you if your records were destroyed in a fire or a natural disaster. If your city, county, or state is involved in a natural disaster, the IRS and the States under a Presidential or State Emergency Declaration will extend tax due dates for those affected.

9. I didn’t know I was suppose to file.

Similar to I was confused and I received bad advice, some taxpayers will use this excuse when it comes to not filing a tax return.

10. I wasn’t able to get help from the IRS or a tax professional

During the tax season, it is not uncommon to be on hold for long periods of times when you’re trying to contact the IRS or the States especially if you have a question. Often, the call gets dropped after being on hold. Sometimes, the best time to contact the IRS and the states is call as soon as the IRS (1-800-829-1040) and the states opens their phone lines in the morning. Tax professionals will often get back with you in a day if you have a question about your tax return.

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