Unfiled Tax Returns in Maryland

Most people are required by law to file both a federal and state tax return each and every year, subject to some exceptions. Although most people know that the deadline for filing state and federal tax returns is typically on April 15th each year, it still seems to come up too quickly for some.

Perhaps you have procrastinated and have been unable to gather all of the necessary documents to submit to your tax preparer in time. Maybe you know that you are going to owe taxes and you do not have the money to pay them.

You also might be aware that since you owe federal student loans or child support, the IRS is going to keep any tax refund to which you are entitled in order to pay those debts. Regardless of the reasons why you have not filed your tax return on time, unfiled tax returns in Maryland can become a real problem. For help with your tax issues, get in touch with a seasoned tax lawyer today.

IRS Actions Against Non-Filers

When the IRS does not receive tax returns from individuals who are required to file them, it identifies these individuals and labels them as non-filers. In recent years, the IRS has stepped up its enforcement efforts in an attempt to make individuals file their income tax returns as required. The initial action by the IRS usually consists of a series of “reminder” letters that may increase in number and intensity as time goes on.

These IRS notices often detail the interest and penalties that are only increasing the amount of the taxes that individuals owe as the months pass after the filing deadline. Likewise, these letters remind individuals of the potential for criminal prosecution for those who continuously fail to submit tax returns. For more information about unfiled tax returns in Maryland, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.


In situations in which the IRS has records of earned income for individuals, but they have not filed tax returns within two years, the IRS may prepare a substitute-for-return (SFR) used limited information. The SFR will contain any income reported for taxpayers by employers or other sources, but will not contain any credits or deductions, which often results in an increased tax burden for individuals.

Cooperation v. Non-Cooperation with the IRS Examiner

A big factor that can influence whether the IRS chooses to prosecute non-filers is their willingness to cooperate and voluntarily disclose the information necessary to get the past-due tax returns filed. In many cases, an IRS examiner will contact individuals to determine the reasons for failing to file tax returns as required.

The examiner may provide individuals with some assistance to ensure that the tax returns get filed, such as payment arrangements for taxes that are owed or tax preparation services.

However, if individuals fail to respond to the examiner, give information, or cooperate with the tax return filing process, their cases may be referred for a criminal investigation into whether they have committed tax evasion.

While the willful failure to file an income tax return is a misdemeanor charge carrying a penalty of one year in prison for each tax year, tax evasion is a federal felony offense that can result in as much five years in prison for each tax year and fines up to $100,000. See 26 U.S.C. § 7201 and § 7203.

Work with a Maryland Tax Attorney to Resolve Your Tax Problems

If you are facing a financial crisis and have unfiled tax returns in Maryland, you need the advice that an accomplished tax attorney could offer you. By working to voluntarily file your unfiled tax returns and disclose appropriate information to the IRS, you may be able to avoid some of the more severe consequences of failing to file tax returns as required.