Is the IRS going to put me in Jail?
Around here this is a common question running a close second to “where is the Bathroom”?
Both are easy questions to answer:
1. The IRS won’t try to jail you if you accurately filed your tax return
Not filing a tax return is considered a crime and you could at least in theory, receive up to a one-year prison sentence for each year you don’t file.
If you haven’t filed for long time, the IRS will find you. It is the rare bird that “slips through the cracks”. It will do the returns for you and search you out for payment.
It won’t typically charge you with the crime for failure to file the return unless you have committed some other crime as well.
It will typically do the return for you and use it to bludgeon you into submission as it garnishes your wages and seizes your assets.
If you filed the return, but it isn’t accurate, that could be a crime as well, and a serious one. It is a federal crime for anyone to knowingly and willfully file an income tax return that they know to be false in some material way. See 26 U.S.C. Sect. 7206.
So…file your tax return and do it as accurately as possible. If you don’t have all the information necessary to make the return perfect do two things:
a. Get some help in creating the return
b. Only sign a return that is completed to the absolute best of your knowledge based on facts and information that you have at your reasonable disposal
Remember, owing the IRS isn’t a crime. Owing will bring with it a myriad of other problems if not handled properly like, wage garnishment, bank levy and property seizure… but owing the IRS won’t result in jail time.
2. The Bathroom is down the hall and to the left
Guest Blog Written By:
Anderson Tax Law – Michael Anderson
2158 N. Gilbert Rd. Ste 101
Mesa, Arizona 85203
Phone: (480) 507-5985
Fax: (480) 507-5988