A failure to file tax returns is a serious issue. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes the matter seriously and, depending on the situation, could move forward with allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
Is it really a crime to fail to file taxes?
If the IRS can establish that you were willful in the failure to file taxes or that it was intentional, they can move forward with criminal charges. This could lead to additional, more serious allegations, including tax evasion.
What should I do if I have not filed my taxes?
Taxpayers who have not yet filed returns have options. When it comes federal returns, the IRS recommends filing as soon as possible.
Tax forms require in-depth financial information. As such, filing back taxes is particularly difficult for those who do not have copies of their past financial records for the tax year in question. Taxpayers who are in this situation have options. These can include asking the IRS for copies of previous years’ tax returns and old W-2 forms. It can also help to review your bank account history.
It is important for taxpayers to realize that if they do not file a tax return the IRS can conduct an audit at any time. Generally, the IRS is limited by a statute of limitations or time limit on when they can review tax filings. Without a filing, the statute is not triggered.
Is there anything else I should know?
Penalties are possible. These can include late charges and additional interest piled on top of the actual tax bill. There are options to help taxpayers manage an otherwise unmanageable tax bill. These can include payment plans and offers to settle with the IRS at a lower rate than owed. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are familiar with these and other options. They can review your situation and discuss options that may work for your situation.