April 18 is the filing deadline for taxes in 2023, but you might still be concerned about last year’s unfiled tax returns. Don’t worry; it’s never too late to file a previous year’s return. Just be prepared to face the usual tax problems: costly fines and possible jail time.
If that’s not the direction you want to go in, a lawyer might be able to help. You can use their expertise to navigate the complicated tax system and avoid the penalties associated with unfiled returns.
If you’re debating whether to fork over your hard-earned cash for legal counsel, here are three telltale signs that you need a tax lawyer ASAP.
- Audited by the IRS
An audit is when an IRS agent reviews your income and expenses, along with other information on your return. If there are any discrepancies, the IRS will ask you to resolve your balance. The amount you owe will usually be much higher because of penalties and interest.
That’s where a tax attorney comes in. They’ll negotiate with the IRS to reduce the penalties and even offer you a payment plan.
- Trying to Start a Business
If you’re trying to start a business, tax debt can become a major roadblock. Many banks won’t lend money to people who have delinquent taxes.
The easiest option for aspiring entrepreneurs is to fund their ventures themselves. But if you’re saddled with tax debt, it’s hard to save up enough money to get started. A tax attorney can help you come up with a plan to pay off your back taxes that won’t put a major strain on your savings.
Your attorney might even help you start your business while you still owe taxes. That way, you can achieve your professional goals and deal with the IRS at the same time.
- Getting a Divorce
If you and your ex-spouse filed taxes together, you’ll both be held responsible for part of the debt. Many factors go into deciding who pays what. But in every case, the judge retains discretion in assigning debts, regardless of whether your incomes are unequal.
A lawyer can help ensure both spouses’ tax liabilities are fair. They’ll analyze your income and assets to see how much you can realistically afford to pay. Then, they’ll negotiate with your spouse to come to an agreement.
If your ex-spouse doesn’t pay their share of back taxes, the IRS might turn to you for repayment. This is when tax attorneys become especially useful. They can advise you on how to protect your assets and help you take legal action against your previous partner.
Get Help With Unfiled Tax Returns
We’re sure you’re feeling the pressure of tax season, but it’s important not to panic. If you’re worried about your unfiled tax returns, get help from a professional. Tax lawyers can assist at any point during the year.
And if you need help organizing your funds to afford lawyer fees and tax debt, turn to our finance section for expert money management tips and resources.