I would strongly encourage you to use a CPA for this process or a service like H&R Block. While you will have to pay for services, it will ensure that the filings are completed correctly and you will hopefull come out even after paying for the services, or possibly ahead, by having someone apply the necessary deductions, etc.
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I would follow your lawyer's general advice, but will also note that he or she is not an accountant or CPA. I would run this by an accountant or CPA (not your neighborhood H & R Block but a place where you will get more individual attention. You can amend your tax returns for the last 4 years. No more.
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
Talk to a CPA.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
While a CPA might be fine, I would suggest a tax lawyer. They will be able to handle not just the proceedure but also any legal ramifications. They might also be able to broker a reduced payback. If you are in the situation where taxes were withheld but you did not file because of the immigration issue, you may actually have a refund coming.
Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by attorney Clint Curtis as general information and not specific legal advice. Specific advice can only be provided after a complete analysis of all information related to the asker. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of the information provided. If you have additional questions please contact the law office.
There is no simple answer since you don't list the number of years you didn't file or the amounts to be taxed. Also, you will have penalties on these amounts. Begin by finding a CPA/Attorney who has a LOT of experience working with the IRS - and a good relationship with them, too. Ask him or her what facts and figures you need to provide to get the process going. If your first language is NOT English, be sure to find a CPA who speaks your language perfectly since there is a lot of detail to cover.
Since I am not licensed in the State of Pennsylvania, I encourage you to find a professional tax person who is close to you. Call the Bar Association of Pennsylvania for a good referral.