The IRS Has A Billion Dollars to Hand Out
You may have heard the news that the IRS is searching for over a million tax payers to hand out more than a billion dollars. Here is what is happening. The IRS has ten years to collect delinquent taxes from taxpayer. This is referred to as the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED). However, if the IRS owes taxpayers refunds for tax years with unfiled tax returns, the taxpayer only has three years from the due date to collect this refund. And, if the taxpayer is also entitled to an Earned Income Tax Credit, those funds too, must be claimed within three years of the tax return due date.
If taxpayers have unfiled tax returns and it appears to the IRS there will be a tax liability, the IRS takes it upon themselves to file a Substitute for Return (SFR). The SFR is not a service, it is a penalty! They prepare your taxes in order to assess a tax – the IRS can’t collect a tax that has yet to be assessed. Generally, the SFR overstates the true tax obligation of the taxpayer. However, the IRS begins collection efforts to collect the assessed tax. It may take the IRS some years to assess the tax for an unfiled return – and the CSED does not begin until the tax is assessed. So, the IRS has additional time, from the date of assessment – not from the date the tax return is due, to collect the assessed tax.
If it appears the taxpayer has a refund due, the IRS does not complete the SFR. Therefore, a tax is never assessed, so the IRS does not calculate what your refund would be. They leave it to the taxpayer to calculate that number.
This year, 2017, tax-day is April 18th. This is the second-year tax-day has landed on April 18th rather than April 15th. The reason that is revolves around a little-known Washington DC Holiday, Emancipation Day. Here is the rule:
Generally, if a due date for performing any act for tax purposes falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the act is considered to be performed timely if it is performed no later than the next day that isn’t a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The term legal holiday means any legal holiday in the District of Columbia. The calendars provided in this publication make the adjustment for Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. But you must make any adjustments for statewide legal holidays, as discussed later.
Emancipation Day is a Washington DC holiday every April 16th. The holiday celebrates the DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 that ended slavery in Washington DC. When April 16 falls on a Saturday, the holiday shifts to Friday. That’s why 2016 tax-day was moved to the next Monday, April 18th. This year, 2017, the holiday falls on a Sunday, so the holiday shifts to the next Monday, April 17th. And, because April 15th is a Saturday, the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday is Tuesday April 18th.
Next year, 2018, April 15th will be on Sunday and Emancipation Day will fall on Monday Apirl 16th. Next year, tax-day will fall to Tuesday April 17th.
I have several clients with unfiled tax returns, many dating back before 2013. Several of these clients are W-2 employees, and likely have a refund due. So, we are concentrating on getting their 2013 tax returns completed and filed BEFORE Tuesday April 18, 2017 to make sure they receive credit for the refund they have coming.
If you owe the IRS for taxes pre-dating 2013, and you fail to claim your return timely, the IRS WILL NOT use the refund to offset those taxes. In this situation, Taxpayers are hit with a double whammy.
If you have unfiled tax returns dating back to 2013 – call my office today, right now! We can still complete those returns and get them filed so you can claim your refund. You should give me a call – Opem Tax Resolutions & The Law Office of Steven A. Leahy, PC (312) 664-6649. Call NOW to set up your FREE Consultation.