Find a tax preparer to assist you, and determine if you do owe any money for the past tax years, you may not if you have substantial medical bills. But file the returns in any case, its better to have the tax bill determined by your calculations, than to have the IRS prepare the returns (which can happen). You also run the risk of civil penalties continuing to accrue, and potential criminal penalties if you do not voluntarily file before the IRS contacts you.
You cannot file bankruptcy until all tax returns are filed.
Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662.
Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate.
Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
Get your tax returns prepared and filed. Find someone who will help you among your circles of influence. Once the returns are filed, if there are outstanding liabilities, meet with a bankruptcy attorney to design a long term strategy. If the taxes are old enough, and if the IRS has not filed a tax lien, or if you have no property with equity for the lien to attach to, then many taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy. You will need to be patient because it may take a while. I have sent clients away with a great plan (and some peace of mind) to have them wait 2 or more years before we file. Good Luck!
Consult with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney. However, you must become current with your tax filings.
Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D
11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280
Houston, TX 77092
NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.