I went through a period of a few years in the early 2000's when I didn't file my taxes. Is it too late to go back and rectify my mistake?

Not at all! In the litany of offenses prosecutable by the IRS, not filing your taxes at all is a lot worse than filing returns that are riddled with errors (either intentional or unintentional). It's easy to see how a person can wind up neglecting to file returns for years on end: he skips one year, because he's out of work or undergoing some personal difficulties, and then is reluctant to file the next year, lest he call attention to this omission. So the process goes, year after year, as the individual hopes against hope that the IRS has forgotten all about him, while he knows deep down in his heart that the government will come after him one day.

If you want to rectify this situation, the first thing you need to do is admit your own culpability; you were the one who neglected to file your returns, and now the onus on you is to correct your mistake, no matter what the consequences. A good tax lawyer can help you to reconstitute your finances during the years your taxes went unpaid—pay stubs, deductions, changes in the tax law in the intervening years—and file the late returns so as to put the best possible gloss on your omission. The ideal situation would be if you could pay all the taxes you owe in a single fell swoop; alternatively, your lawyer can file the returns along with a request to the IRS for an “Offer in Compromise,” so you can pay off your tax debt, in regular installments.

It's always better to file your taxes from past years than to wait for the government to come after you (and it definitely will, sooner or later). Questions? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!