Proof of therapy may be necessary to prove unfilled taxes were due to personal reasons

Taxpayers who miss the April 15 deadline due to personal emergencies may be able to avoid a penalty if they are receiving therapy because of it Taxpayers who have to deal with an unexpected family or personal emergency may be able to receive an abatement if they do not file a return and are in need of debt consolidation, so long as they can provide proof of medical treatment.

According to William M. Funk, a tax attorney who houses his practice in New York City, those who cannot file a return because they are struggling with personal matters may be able to avoid penalties for non-filing that can be up to 25 percent of the tax due.

The way to do this, he added, was to receive therapy to help cope with the issues that impeded their filing and be able to show proof of treatment.

"For example, a client suffering from depression who had not filed for years came to me for help when the IRS threatened to garnish her wages,” he added. “Producing treatment documentation resulted in a waiver of the failure-to-file penalties for the two years of her illness following the death of a member of her immediate family.”

Funk said that the IRS assessed more than $6 billion in civil penalties against taxpayers who did not file a return in 2009.