A Taxing Situation

Q:

“I own a business, but I neglected to file my income tax for several years. Since my diagnosis of ADD and treatment for it, I have filed my taxes on time. Can I get a waiver of penalties from the IRS based on my diagnosis?”

ADDitude contributor Robert Tudisco is a practicing attorney with ADHD and an expert on special education law and disability advocacy.
A:

As a criminal defense attorney, I never use attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) or any other disability as a defense for anti-social and/or criminal behavior. It does not constitute a legal defense.

However, the IRS may view your ADD/ADHD as a mitigating circumstance in explaining why you didn’t pay your taxes on time.

You have already taken steps -- starting medication to manage symptoms -- to ensure that you will file future returns on time. Explain this to your accountant or attorney, and have him bring that up to the state or IRS when pleading your case. In many cases, back taxes, interest, and penalties can be negotiated. A skillful advocate can get the IRS to waive penalties and, in some instances, reduce your tax liability.

Note: ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information. While comments are appreciated, due to the high volume of inquiries we receive, there is no guarantee that either ADDitude or the expert will respond to follow-up questions.

Robert Tudisco is a lawyer who specializes in ADHD. He lives in White Plains, New York.

What do you think of this article? Share your comments on www.ADDConnect.com, ADDitude's community site. Check out the new ADHD Medication User Reviews and the ADHD Adults Support Group. Your fellow ADDers want to hear from you!

 
 
Copyright © 1998 - 2013 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 39 W. 37th Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10018