Is it a Crime to Not File a Tax Return?

Posted on by New Mexico Criminal Law Offices

Defense Attorneys Fighting Criminal Charges for Tax Evasion in Albuquerque and all of New Mexico

tax return formsTax season is almost here, and most consumers are preparing their files and readying information for their accountants. For some, the thought of owing taxes to the state or IRS keeps them from filing their return altogether. While you may be tempted to skip filing your return, you may want to consider the legal ramifications for doing so.

Even if you do not have the money to pay your taxes due, it is in your best interest to file your return and work out a payment arrangement. While you may have heard stories of consumers who don’t file returns or pay taxes for year, the reality is that you could face serious penalties for doing so – and the IRS does eventually catch up with those who do not pay or file taxes annually.

Criminal Penalties Exist for Not Filing Tax Returns?

Filing your taxes is not voluntary. If you make a specific amount or more per year, you are required to file a return and pay taxes on that income. It is stated in the first section of the Internal Revenue Code. Failing to file your taxes can increase the likelihood that you will face criminal penalties and possibly jail time.

Not Filing Versus Not Paying

There is a distinct difference between not filing your taxes and not paying your taxes. The IRS, however, penalizes for both. If you calculate your return and discover that you have taxes due, but cannot afford them, it is still in your best interest to file the return. Most people assume that if they do not file, they can wait until they save up the necessary funds or just hope the IRS does not notice that they never filed.

It is a mistake to not pay taxes due. The IRS adds a penalty to your unpaid tax balance per month, along with a percentage for not filing on time.

Instead of not filing out of fear of owing the IRS, you can file your tax return with the balance due, then request a payment plan with the IRS. The IRS does offer installment agreements for those who cannot pay their balance in full.

What Happens if You Do Not File?

Not only do you have penalties assigned by the IRS, but if you do not file your taxes, you do have the risk of going to jail. Once the IRS figures out that you do not have a return on file, they automatically generate a return and send you a bill based on the figures they estimate for you. If you do not respond, they will then work on applying liens to your property and seizing assets to pay the outstanding amount due.

Typically, the IRS auto-generated returns do not include the deductions you are entitled to, so they will request more than you may actually owe.

Avoid Criminal Penalties – Contact an Attorney

Not filing a tax return carries state and federal criminal implications. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney if you suspect that you will be arrested and imprisoned for failure to file. Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to schedule a free case evaluation at 505-375-4672. You can also request more information from our attorneys online.