Unexpected circumstances happen in our lives, and everything else can go off the rails. A San Francisco shop owner may be preoccupied with closing a business. Or a Bay Area local was the caretaker of a loved one with a long-term illness.
Life can throw all types of curve balls and take our attention away from essential tasks like managing annual tax returns. Even when things have settled down, there’s plenty of catch-up to do. Important duties set aside may be in “emergency mode” because of delinquent payments. For instance, what if a very threatening letter from the IRS arrives? Procrastination is no longer an option, but it’s another overwhelming task someone needs to handle.
Not knowing how to respond to IRS delinquent taxes can involve a storm of violation letters and fines that spiral an individual into constant chaos and angst. Speaking to a professional CPA team who can take over the stressful work of handling delinquent tax return preparation is worth the time. Our San Francisco CPA team has experience managing late tax return prep for many situations, both for individuals and businesses.
Bay Area Residents: If you are late on your income tax returns, you’ve got company –
2022’s recent data from the Internal Revenue Service (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/021214/why-do-so-many-people-fall-behind-their-taxes.asp) show Americans owed over $120 billion in back taxes, penalties, and interest. No matter the stiff fines and jail time, many Americans still refuse to work on their annual tax returns. Some reasons have nothing to do with distressful situations like a recent death or job loss. Sometimes people feel an aversion to the overall work of handling annual tax returns.
And if you’re choosing to put off filing, you are not alone. A 2023 study by Chamberofcommerce.org (https://www.chamberofcommerce.org/tax-day-procrastinators) shows that nationwide, around one-third, or 31%, of Americans procrastinate during tax season.
These are the top 5 reasons why people put off doing their taxes:
- It’s complicated: Especially for Bay Area locals with multi-state taxes and international tax issues.
- It consumes much personal time that some people don’t have to give.
- It’s not worth it since they don’t believe they are getting a refund.
- People fear filing with mistakes and continue to review the numbers way past the filing date.
- People are concerned they’ll owe money and don’t have it to give.
Face the music and contact a top CPA to get those taxes completed!
Still, not convinced that ignoring taxes is a serious problem? Read the penalties in the IRS Tax Crimes Handbook https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/tax_crimes_handbook.pdf. Page 55 states very clearly fines are “not more than $25,000” for an individual. People who don’t pay their taxes can also be “imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.” The IRS means business and will not wait for anyone to catch up. But the good news is most Bay Area locals aren’t consciously trying to avoid paying taxes because they think they are above the law. Most people just need some help to “face the music.” That’s where our Safe Harbor Team comes in. We’ve supported individuals and businesses with late tax filings. We manage the process for various business models, including S Corps, C Corps, Partnerships, and LLCs. Our skilled accountants understand global tax law and will collect and organize all asset information in California, multi-state, or overseas bank accounts. Even with late tax returns, there are opportunities to leverage the law and pay less than expected.
The bad news is that everyone must pay their taxes. The good news is our professional CPA firm can help fix delinquent tax return prep in San Francisco. Contact us to get to work. We won’t judge why the taxes are overdue; we’ll just get you back on track.