The IRS Substitute for Return (SFR)

What happens if you don’t file a tax return?

The IRS will file what is called a Substitute for a Return (SFR) on your behalf. This tax return is based on information the IRS has from sources other than you. Therefore, if the IRS prepares an SFR, it will not include any additional exemptions or expenses you may be entitled to, and may in fact overstate your real tax liability. Once the tax based on the SFR is assessed, the IRS will begin the collection process.

If the IRS has already filed an SFR for you, there is a program called Audit Reconsideration that allows you to file your own return. The IRS will generally adjust your account to reflect the correct figures.

If it’s been several years since you’ve filed, or you don’t have all your tax records, don’t despair. I am experienced at helping my clients reconstruct their tax records through the use of the IRS Statistics of Income, the IRS “Wage & Income Transcripts” and other reasonable methods to estimate expenses or deductions.


Help! The IRS prepared a return for me and it looks BAD.

Please contact me for a free phone consultation if the IRS has filed an SFR for you or if you haven’t filed your taxes in one or more years.