“Will I go to jail for not filing taxes?” is a pressing concern that many citizens cope with, especially when they’ve missed the tax deadline. You may have valid excuses for not paying or filing taxes. Regardless of the reasons, you should take action to avoid penalties and interest.
What Happens If You Don’t File Your Taxes?
First of all, you can face a penalty of 5% of the tax you owe, and it increases every month to 25%. That is, these penalties and interest on any unpaid amounts increase your debt. If you still don’t pay your debt, you may have to deal with legal actions, such as tax liens or wage garnishments. At this time, you may not even be able to get loans or file for bankruptcy.
The IRS can pursue collection action in pursuit of the unpaid tax. Then, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine of up to one year in jail and up to $25,000 for each unfiled return.
Can You Go to Jail for Not Filing Taxes?
Two tax crimes could lead to a prison sentence. First, tax fraud is lying on your tax return or providing false information to tax agencies. Second, tax evasion involves using fraudulence to avoid paying or filing taxes. However, your actions must be intentional to be convicted, not just a mistake.
The IRS follows civil judgments. As a result of laws, a taxpayer may face imprisonment. Moreover, penalties for these crimes can be hefty: up to $250,000 in fines for individuals and $500,000 for corporations. Additionally, there are potential prison sentences of up to five years.
Tax Scams: How Does the IRS Identify Fake Information on a Tax Return?
If any problem arises, the IRS investigates further. Besides, the IRS’s computers check for potential fraud indicators. Finally, the IRS randomly selects some returns for full or partial audits.
Individuals reporting no income or those declaring over $5 million are more likely to face an audit. Interestingly, even those who earn money through unlawful means are expected to report these earnings. Failing to do so can lead to tax evasion charges. However, reporting such income can also draw attention to themselves. For this reason, those people usually show their income through a business. In this case, they may face money laundering accusations.
Statute of Limitations on Criminal Tax Fraud and Evasion
The typical statute of limitations for tax fraud or evasion is three years from when your return was due or filed. The IRS cannot bring charges against you after this time unless you have omitted more than 25% of your income. Then, the IRS has six years. In fraudulent or unfiled returns, the IRS can bring charges without time constraints.
Solutions for Taxpayers Who Can’t Pay in Full
The IRS isn’t an institution that enjoys putting US citizens in a difficult situation. Its purpose is to collect the debt from taxpayers in the most appropriate way. For this reason, the IRS provides various solutions for those who can’t pay their taxes.
Besides, the IRS may allow a temporary delay in collecting your bill. If you qualify for an Offer in Compromise, the IRS may settle for less than the full amount owed. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, you can benefit from the IRS Installment Plan or tax relief programs. Contact a tax professional to find a way out, as the specifics can vary depending on your financial burden.
Keep in mind, even if you can’t pay, always file your return on time. It lets you avoid the “Failure to File Penalty”. You can request an extension if you need more time to fill it out.
How to Avoid Legal Trouble
If you have unfiled returns or know that you have misreported info on your returns, don’t panic. Getting in touch with the IRS is a better way to handle such situations instead of waiting for them.
However, the best, reach a tax attorney as soon as possible to solve your tax issues in the proper way. Precision Tax Relief can help you. Always opt for expert assistance when dealing with the IRS’s complicated system.