Cindy McCain releases 2007 tax info
So long to second tax rebate

Too depressed to file

The chief of staff to New York's governor apparently didn't file state or federal returns for five years.

Charles O'Byrne acknowledged that from 2001 to 2005 he didn't file. He worked for the state part of that time.

He subsequently has paid more than $200,000 in back taxes, $151,000 to the IRS and $56,000 to the state treasury. Those amounts included penalties and interest.

The reason for the tax oversight, O'Byrne said, was clinical depression.

"Certainly, I'm ashamed of the fact that this has occurred in my life," O'Byrne told the New York Post. "But I'm clinically aware of the fact that it is a consequence of an illness over which I had no control."

As a result, he said, "parts of life fall apart." O'Byrne also told the paper that he is no longer undergoing treatment for his depression.

New York Gov. David Paterson told the Post that he learned of O'Byrne's unpaid taxes in 2006, when a background search was conducted on the staffer in preparation for Paterson's run for lieutenant governor.

"He had to find ways of paying off the debt and arrange them and go ahead and pay the debt off," Paterson told the paper. "I'm satisfied that he did that as promptly as he could."

Empty pocket (2) Ways to pay: Tax delinquencies are not uncommon. And most of the time, Uncle Sam and states will work with individuals.

Let's face it. Their main interest is getting the money you owe any way possible.

If you cannot pay your full tax bill, the IRS offers some installment plan options.

The good thing about these arrangements is that you don't have to come up with a lump sum payment.

The bad thing about these arrangements is that you'll end up owing more than your tax bill. In addition to application fees, you'll be charged interest on the unpaid balance.

But if that's the only way you can pay your IRS bill, then it's worth considering.

You can get details on installment tax payment options at this IRS Web page.This story also has information on installment plans, as well as other ways to pay Uncle Sam.


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I can kinda understand, I filed very late returns for 2004-2006, for which I had a small refund each year. I also didn't file for 2002 and 2003, for which I had a minuscule withholding overpayment, so I didn't have any unpaid tax liability.

Now I understand that I missed the deadline for receiving refunds for 2002 and 2003, but should - or can - I file those returns anyway? I was unable to work most of both years and had very low income (well below the filing requirement) and minimal withholding.

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