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My employers have always withheld taxes and for the most part I've assumed they've done it right. I have probably owed a bit some years and been owed a refund some years.

Anyhow, I want to get straight with the IRS. I'm afraid to just start filing though... and I have no idea what to do about all of the years I've missed. I haven't kept good records.

Any thoughts on where I should start?

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Ouch. This is one of the reasons I appreciate StackExchange - hopefully at least one person thinking of not filing a tax return will see this and think twice... Hopefully you don't owe all that much, BackTaxes... –  johnny Apr 7 '12 at 1:14
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1 Answer

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Talk to an accountant who practices tax accounting, not a income-tax filing service such as H&R Block, making sure that the accountant is at least an Enrolled Agent (EA) with the IRS. You might owe back taxes plus interest plus penalties (yes, there is a penalty for failure to file a tax return even if you do not owe the IRS any money and even are due a refund). Refunds that you might have gotten in years before 2008 are gone; you cannot claim them by filing a belated return, but taxes owed going back all the way to Year One are still due and are accumulating interest even as we speak.

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Talk to them now! Once April 15th hits you could lose another year of refunds. With less than a month to go before the filing deadline, their work load will only be getting heavier. –  mhoran_psprep Mar 17 '12 at 14:40
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