April 15th 2016 is around the corner and if you did not file a return for last year, or years before that you may be afraid to file this year. Failure to file an income tax return is a Federal crime that can land you in Federal prison. Most of the time it is really not intentional. When the time comes to file, if you haven’t made your estimated tax payments, and are going to owe a bundle, you may be tempted not to file a return. Failure to file a tax return is a crime that repeats itself. Before you know it, you may be years behind. Most of the cases involve people who work for themselves and have small businesses or small corporations. Many people are in a cash business, have no employees, and the temptation is there. Over the years, I have represented doctors, lawyers and other professionals who simply got behind and did not know how to solve the problem. They are afraid that if they start filing, it will trigger an investigation into past years. I have represented boat captains, fishermen, farmers, lawn service businesses, detailers and other small businessmen who simply got way behind. This is particularly a problem for people who have hired illegals and paid them under the table. They cannot file because their payroll is in cash, paid to illegals and they cannot take the huge payroll deduction. They cannot file because their payroll is in cash, paid to illegals and they cannot take the huge payroll deduction. I once represented a 72 year old man who had never filed a return in his entire life.
How do I get caught up without going to jail?
As a former IRS special agent and thirty year veteran criminal lawyer, I have represented many people and solved their problems without it ever coming to the attention of the IRS. It may be a matter of getting back tax returns prepared and filed. The IRS may be convinced to forego prosecution if they get their money and some penalties. Getting you back on the roles and up to date is a good start. If you already have been contacted by the criminal investigation division of the IRS, make no statement and call us immediately. Produce no records without talking to a good criminal lawyer experienced in defending tax crimes. Timing is critical. Do not wait until you get a letter from the Department of Justice that you are being indicted. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are “money driven” and if the amount of the tax owed is substantial, then Federal prison is called for. Do not wait until you are indicted. We may be able to come up with a plan to keep you from being charged.