If the IRS believes you owe taxes, they will use Notice CP63 to inform you they are holding your tax refund until you file one or more returns. How frustrating it must be to think you're going to get a refund, only to find out that the IRS is going to keep it because they think you owe them money! What actions should you take if you have, or haven't filed tax returns?
"But I did file my return!"
If you did file, get the proof of either mailing or e-filing. If you e-filed, you would have received an email confirming the IRS got your return. If you physically mailed in your return, hopefully you did so via certified mail. This way you would have a receipt showing the date it was mailed and the date the IRS received it. If you do not have a receipt, you may have to re-file your return with an explanation of why it was late.
"Okay...I didn't file my return. What now?"
File your return. Why? It's not a criminal offense to owe the IRS money. It is a criminal offense to have unfiled tax returns.
Also, if you don't file the IRS can prepare something called a 'Substitute For Return' (SFR) for you. They will do so based on the wage and income/account transcripts they have on file for you. They will not give you all of the deductions you could claim if you filed yourself, and they may say you owe taxes when in reality, you wouldn't if you had filed yourself. Once an SFR is done, they can begin enforcing collections against you.
"When will my refund be released?"
The IRS will release your refund when they have received all past due returns, or explanations showing you did not have to file for those years.
"I don't have my records anymore. How can I file a return?"
Sometimes people don’t hold on to their records. Sometimes they lose them in a flood or fire. Whatever the case, there is hope. W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, K-1s, etc. are all going to be on your IRS records. We can also get an IRS report on you called a W & I Transcript that can tell us all of your income and withholdings. And there's good old fashioned bank records.
We also use an IRS approved tool to get industry averages if you are missing records. It helps us get general guidelines of costs, deductions, etc. It is completely legal and a tool we use in audits when there are missing records. One of the reasons people hire us is because we are able to complete tax returns that others thought too difficult or impossible to complete.
"I don't want to file because I know I'll owe money to the IRS, and I can't afford to pay!"
If you don't have the money to pay, this could be the best time for us to settle your back taxes....not in the future when you have money! The only way to settle a tax debt is to first have the IRS recognize it with a tax return.
Whatever you choose to do, ensure you do it before the IRS's deadline. The CP63 will indicate a date that you must contact them by. You do have the option of calling the number on the notice and requesting an extension to buy a little more time to decide your best course of action.
If you've received a CP63 and need assistance, watch the video below or contact us. We can help. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.