TaxesBudget & Finance

Paying Back Taxes

Category Taxes

So I was self employed for 2 summers making about $7000 each summer while I was in high school and I never paid in the taxes I was supposed to. This year I worked for two other employers making about $10,000 from one place and $2-3000 from the other place. Is the government going to keep my tax return to help credit it to what I owe?


Or will they not notice and send me back money any ways? The 1st of my two summers being self employed I only received the tax papers to fill out for the 1st year, the second year I received nothing? Can someone please help me, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.

Bria from MDI, Maine

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By Karen (Guest Post)
January 23, 20090 found this helpful

I'm pretty sure they will notice if you owe them money. If you have money coming to you from this year's returns, they will most likely keep them to pay off what you owe them.

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January 23, 20090 found this helpful

Any money that you owe to the government will be paid with money that you 'get back' from the government.

Therefor if you owe the gov. a grand and get a back 2 grand the next next, then the gov. will keep 1 grand and give you the other grand.


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January 24, 20090 found this helpful

You may not have owed any from those other years. Maybe you could consult somebody in the business.

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January 26, 20090 found this helpful

You aren't going to want to hear this, but your best solution is to go to the local IRS office and ask them. Take along any documentation you have. Take notes of everything they say and who you talk to (important). The government will come after you. I let it go for a few years because I was making so little money, and not all at one time....maybe four or five years later they attached my wages to pay back those taxes.


My feeling was that as little as I was making that they had a nerve, but I didn't have the nerve to go up against the IRS office so I ate rice and beans for nine months....and I wasn't making much over minimum when they caught me. Get it over might not be a big thing. Good luck.

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By Tracy (Guest Post)
January 27, 20090 found this helpful

Why did you receive tax papers the first year of lawn mowing? There may be consequences to your parents if they claimed your as a deduction while you were making $7,000.
Among other things to consider:
If your earnings fall below a certain level, you may not owe taxes.
If you are paid in cash,some would refer you to the old maxim:"Let a sleeping dog lie".
During the tax season, you might be able to go to H&R Block or a similar business to talk with somebody who can bring you up to speed.

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January 27, 20090 found this helpful

The government will notify you about taxes that were not paid on income that was reported to them. If you never received papers from an employer, chances are that it was not reported. My suggestion would be to visit a CPA, a certified public accountant. It does not cost as much as you would think and this is a person who knows the tax laws (or how to find out) and will help you with your returns. You can file returns for several years, but the longer you wait, the more you will owe, with what they call underpayment penalties.


You may not owe very much at all, but you really need to clear this up, as it will hang over your head until you do. A suggestion, if you cannot afford a CPA, would be to check with your local library. They often have free tax preparation help from retirees. Last, but not least, is the IRS.

They do not charge for services, but it may get complicated, in regards to your working and not receiving any paper work. They may be new to the IRS and newly trained.

You need someone with a little experience to guide you. Were you paid in cash? Do you have any documentation showing your income? How do you know how much you made? There could be penalties here for the employer, also. My recommendation is to develop a relationship with an accountant, who you will be able to go to year after year. Good luck.

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January 27, 20090 found this helpful


Don't hold me to this, but you may not owe anything or very little. It sounds like you were a minor (under 18) at the time. I think some things that may be factors in determining any taxes owed are your age at the time and whether or not your parents claimed you as a dependent on their return, etc.


Also, if you didn't make more than the personal exemption amount set for those years (i.e. $9,600 for 2008), you may not owe anything. I agree that you do need to clear this up because it will haunt you until you do. If you did owe, the longer it goes on, the more penalties will cost. You can also go online to for free tax help. Good luck!


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January 27, 20090 found this helpful

Definately go and fill out ammended tax forms for the lost years. This could really come back and bite you later. IF you owe then the government will add on fees and interest and you could owe THOUSANDS. Go to the IRS and get this fixed ASAP

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