“Reasonable Cause” for Not Paying Your Taxes? You'll Need Proof

The average taxpayer in the state of Oklahoma may be surprised to learn that the IRS isn't entirely unsympathetic about missing tax returns. In fact, there are a variety of “reasonable causes” a taxpayer can invoke to explain his failure to file a return in any given year, ranging from illness and drug addiction to foreclosure and bankruptcy. If the IRS agrees to take your circumstances into account, you still will need to pay your back tax bill in full, but you may be spared the full brunt of accumulated penalties and interest.

The trick, of course, is to back up your “reasonable cause” with a reasonable amount of cold, hard facts and evidence. An IRS revenue officer will be unimpressed by a flat-out declaration like “that was the year I had cancer,” if you're not prepared to offer him a thick file of documents describing your prognosis and treatment.

Likewise, having your house foreclosed on may be a good reason not to pay your taxes, but you have to show the IRS the actual documents in order to make your case. (You can see why this is necessary; otherwise, every individual who failed to file his taxes out of sheer laziness would fabricate a “reasonable cause.”)

How can you know whether you had reasonable cause for not filing your taxes? A good first step is to consult an experienced Oklahoma tax lawyer, who can tell you whether your excuse meets the standards of a very skeptical IRS revenue officer. Call the Oklahoma tax professionals at Travis W. Watkins, PC today (800-721-7054) for a free consultation!

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment