My friend has not filed income taxes in several years, maybe 6-7 years or so. He had a fire and lost all of his paperwork and income documents. He has not worked steady for a number of years. Some of the employers took out some taxes but most of them sent him 1099's to use for his taxes. He is so far over his head and doesn't know where to begin. We really need to clean this up but are affraid that if we contact the IRS, they will put him in jail. Is there a way to work this out and find out who reported income for him so he can file all these and get back on track? Thanks so much in advance for any help you can provide. Also, if he started filing now, would that open the mess. I would love to see him file an extention form for this year and get working on this but am affraid to.
Failing to file federal income tax returns for several years can be a crime. Your friend needs to engage a tax attorney to help him. The IRS has a policy of not prosecuting non-filers if they file accurate returns prior to being contact by someone from the IRS about the delinquent returns. You can get some tax information from the IRS, but this should be handled by a tax professional. Please have your friend locate and engage a reputable tax attorney to help with this as soon as possible.