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I believe I may have some unfiled tax return in the US 15yrs ago. Although I filed for the 1st yr of my employment before and paid my taxes my last remaining months back then I believe I left without filing my taxes due to a family emergency. Tried going to irs.gov and used my old SS number but I couldn't see any option that would allow me to see unpaid taxes on my part. Also considering a tax advocate for help. Pls. advice on how to go about this more efficiently. Thanks in advance.

Btw, I was on H1-B visa before

  • Do you have any idea what your income was in that year (1998)? – JTP - Apologise to Monica Apr 20 '14 at 13:49
  • hi @JoeTaxPayer, probably it was 4,500 a month which rounds up to 55k/annum. if you can give me an estimate on the compounded interest amount pls do. thanks. – apache1 Apr 22 '14 at 12:29
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The statute of limitations doesn't start to run until you file a tax return for the year for which the tax return is due. So, the clock hasn't started yet.

If you were supposed to pay taxes - you're still on the hook, theoretically.

If you were supposed to get a refund, however, the statute of limitations for the claims for refund is either 2 years after the tax was paid, or 3 years after the return was filed, which ever is later. However, since you didn't file the tax return at all - only the 2 years after the tax payment period holds, so refunds are long gone. See 26 U.S. Code § 6511.

That said, I suggest consulting with an experienced tax professional (EA/CPA/Attorney licensed in your State) for a proper advice on what your course of action should be. Do not talk to the IRS (including the Tax Advocate service, which is part of the IRS) before you had that consultation.

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  • thanks @littleadv your answer was helpful but how to view the unpaid amount i.e. some govt website maybe. if its possible can you recommend an EA/CPA/Attorney to me? – apache1 Apr 20 '14 at 5:37
  • @apache1 you can view your account transcript, you can read my blog article about it here. littleadvisor.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/… – littleadv Apr 20 '14 at 5:39
  • However keep in mind - the IRS might not even be aware that you owe something at this time. Since you didn't file your return - there's information missing that they don't have. So your account may have zero balance, but if someone asks you "hey, where's your return for year XXXX?" because there's a W2 with income amounts above the filing limits and you didn't file - you'll have to file in full. And then the audit starts... – littleadv Apr 20 '14 at 5:41
  • great info! thanks a lot for the speedy answer. God bless. – apache1 Apr 20 '14 at 5:42

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