On Monday, April 18, at 11:50 pm EDT, the U.S. tax filing deadline passed and estimates show that over 16 percent of Americans will have failed to file their 2010 federal tax returns, report their full income, or pay their full 2010 tax liability, costing the federal government upwards of $490 billion in revenue for the 2010 tax year.
"During a time of contentious fiscal debate in Washington, D.C. over the mounting deficit and needed funding for our country, it is not only the legal obligation of taxpayers but perhaps their most important patriotic duty to pay the IRS the money they legally owe," said Patrick Cox, CEO of TaxMasters, a publicly-traded tax compliance and repayment services provider.
Cox adds, "Although tax filing can be a stressful and time-consuming process, taxpayers need to remember that their returns support our soldiers fighting overseas, pay for police and fire programs in our communities, and provide us with the clean water and utilities we often take for granted. By choosing not to pay taxes and comply with IRS guidelines, these free riders are costing us all."
TaxMasters advises those who have missed the April 18th deadline to contact a local CPA or tax representative to help prepare your returns and promptly file with the correct deductions and statements, in order to help avoid any further penalties or interest. If you have not filed in three or more years, or are being contacted directly by an IRS collection agency for significant amounts owed, TaxMasters recommends seeking professional help from a tax representation firm.
"If you choose to take on the IRS independently, they will assume you know all of your options and hold you accountable for whatever you agree to. A tax representative can ask the questions and execute on options you might not be aware of," says Cox. "The best strategy is to get your files in order months before the filing deadline and stay in compliance with the IRS, to help not only your own financial future, but the well being of the country."