Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/TQ


If   someone has not file taxes or file incorrectly in US in the past; how many years does IRS or State have to go behind him and ask for the tax payment, penalty etc?

There is no statute of limitations for the non-filed returns. The IRS and the State can go after the non-filer for the indefinite number of years.

If the IRS has not yet contacted you, then in order to catch up with your filing obligations your should file at least 3 years of federal and state tax returns - ideally 6 years. This way you will establish the statute of limitations and the IRS will not look farther beyond.

In some cases, delinquent taxpayers may qualify for the Streamlined Offshore Procedure where 3 years of back filing is sufficient, however, this program is a subject to certain qualification rules.


Hope this helps
I.J.Zemelman, EA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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IJ Zemelman, EA MBA


I am an IRS-authorized EA and principal of a Tax Preparation firm focusing on U.S. Expatriates. We specialize in all tax issues faced by American citizens living abroad - such as foreign earned income, tax treaties, foreign spouse, etc. Visit our website - - for more information.


18 years professional tax experience, 12 with expatriate taxes.

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