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  • Writer's pictureBrian Barto

Haven’t Filed Tax Returns? How Many Years Do You Need to File?

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

For the purposes of collection, the IRS generally considers a taxpayer in compliance when they have filed the last 6 years. Below is the policy statement from the Internal Revenue Manual regarding the enforcement of collections for non-filed returns.

Policy Statement 5-133 (P-5-133), IRM, Delinquent returns—enforcement of filing requirements, discusses delinquent returns and the enforcement filing requirements. The enforcement period is not to be more than six years. However, the extent to which delinquency procedures will be enforced will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

Collections is the division within the IRS responsible for collecting tax owed and enforcing the filing of tax returns. So, in most cases, you are in “tax compliance” if you have the last 6 years of taxes filed.

“Tax Compliance” is an important topic when dealing with the IRS, especially if you are hoping to negotiate in some way. For a taxpayer to work out any kind of a deal with the IRS, the taxpayer must be in tax compliance, meaning that all tax returns have been filed and they are making their current tax payments properly. It is also important to understand that if you are able to work out a deal with the IRS, a critical term of that deal is to maintain tax compliance in the future (after your deal). Any failure to do so results in a default of the installment agreement or avoiding of the Offer-in-Compromise you worked so hard to get.

Once you are in compliance, with all of your previously non-filed returns completed and sent to the IRS, now you can begin the process of working out a resolution to pay any debt owed.

At Tax Debt Resolution Services of Winchester VA, we help you eliminate your IRS issues and the stress the IRS has created in your life and help you get back to doing what you do best! We help our clients in Winchester, VA to resolve their tax debts! If you need assistance please feel free to contact me at 540-662-4432 or

Brian Barto

24 Weems Lane

Winchester, VA 22601


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