Tax advisors are likely to hear from potential clients seeking advice on how to "re-enter" our tax reporting system.The reasons for failing to file tax returns vary with the client: the stress of a divorce or bankruptcy, ignorance of U.S. tax laws, or willful negligence. Similarly, the strategies for handling these cases should vary, considering the potential criminal, as well as civil, ramifications of a client's failure to file timely returns.

This article examines two contrasting situations, and provides practical advice for handling these sensitive tax issues.

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