Any site that you can provide related to the statue of limitations of unpaid individual income taxes? The tax periods in questions are from 1982 – 1987.
This is actually a tricky question because so many things need to be taken into account. Here are some general principles:
- Under IRC section 6501(a), the statue of limitations (SOL) for assessment of taxes expires three (3) years from the due date of the return or the date that you file, whichever is later. An extension of the due date for filing the return does not change the date the SOL starts to run.
- If you fail to file, the statute never starts to run. In other words, there is no SOL and taxes can be assessed at any time.
- If you file a false or fraudulent return or are willfully attempting to evade tax, the statute also doesn’t run. In these cases, the tax may be assessed or collected at any time.
- If you substantially understate your gross income (more than 25%), the SOL is extended to six (6) years.
- With respect to collections, the IRS generally has ten (10) years after the date of the assessment of tax or levy to collect. That applies to assessments made after November 5, 1990. For some of the years you’ve referenced, it’s a bit more complicated because the laws are different for those pre-November 5, 1990 years.
You should know that there are all kinds of exceptions and special circumstances that can result in changes to the SOL. For example, if you’ve been outside of the US for a significant period of time or agreed to an extension with IRS, your SOL deadlines may be different. When in doubt, check out the Tax Code. In this case, you’ll want to review §6501 and following. Of course, most taxpayers don’t love reading the Tax Code and leave that to the tax geeks. You should absolutely consult with a knowledgeable tax pro for more information about your specific situation.
Like any good lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer: unfortunately, it is impossible to offer comprehensive tax info over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. And remember, I love my readers but having me bookmarked on your computer doesn’t make you a client: before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.