Many people for many reasons may fall behind in filing their income tax returns.
The most common reason is that they do not have the money to pay the income tax due. This is particularly true for the small businessman who has not made estimated tax payments. It is easy to panic when April 15th comes and put off filing. Before you know it, another year rolls by and now you have not filed for two years. It goes on and on and the fear of discovery will force people to fall behind for many years and run up thousands of dollars in tax due.
Failure to file a tax return is a crime and the IRS can put your in jail.
Filing a false return, tax evasion, is even worse.
Many people fudge on their returns and claim expenses that do not exist. Some tax return preparers, especially the ones that make tax refund loans, will claim phone tax deductions to run up the amount of the refund. It is the taxpayer himself, not the return preparer that they will come after. Do not file a false return just to get a bigger refund. Do not claim deductions that do not exist.
Over the years, I have represented many Doctors, Lawyers and other professionals for tax return mistakes. Having a secret offshore bank account in recent years has become a huge problem. Many professionals, sometimes ten and twenty years ago, opened an offshore account and now do not know what to do. Should they take advantage of the so called amnesty program or let it ride? It is a tough call for most ordinary people. Confession may be good for the soul but it is rarely a good thing when it comes to criminal law.
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.