It is well-known that every individual and business needs to file a tax return every year. Unfortunately, not every taxpayer does this. This can result in a single unfiled tax return or years of unpaid taxes. A failure to file a tax return can have serious consequences, such as fees or a referral to a criminal court. The resulting charges may include a failure to file a tax return or an overt attempt to avoid payment. A conviction could result in prison time.
A Washington DC unfiled tax returns lawyer might be able to help. An understanding tax attorney could help to explain the tax laws and why federal authorities are pursuing charges. With this knowledge, it is possible to craft a defense that could help to defeat these allegations in court.
Financial Penalties for Failing to File
All parties that earn an income must file a tax return with the IRS. For many people, this is a benefit since they will receive a tax refund that puts money back in their pockets. However, other parties, especially those who run a business or work as an independent contractor, might need to pay money to the federal government when they file their returns. As a result, many people end up delaying this process. Perhaps they are going through a difficult period of life and lack time, energy, or resources to file. Some might simply not have enough money to pay back.
It is best for a filer to immediately pay when they owe money. This is because a late filing can result in significant penalties. As soon as the deadline to pay taxes expires, the IRS will prepare “Substitute for Returns” and attach a five percent penalty to the account. If a person waits more than a month to make the payment, this penalty will increase by a further five percent for every month past the deadline up to a maximum of 25 percent.
A Washington DC unfiled tax returns attorney could help someone engage in negotiations with the IRS to arrange for payment plans or other settlements that could help make overdue payments more manageable.
Criminal Consequences of Failing to Pay Taxes
The financial penalties are usually enough to spur filers into completing their returns. However, if a taxpayer fails to ever pay their taxes and ignores overtures from the IRS, it is possible that they may face criminal charges.
According to 26 U.S.C. § 7203, a willful failure to file a tax return is a misdemeanor. A conviction can result in a $25,000 fine, one year in prison, or both. It is essential to remember that the prosecutor must prove that a defendant intentionally failed to file a tax return. A simple mistake or misunderstanding will not necessarily lead to these penalties. In criminal cases, a personal accountant may be forced to testify about discussions they had with the accused taxpayer.
Federal authorities may also pursue criminal charges alleging an overt act of evasion. Under 26 U.S.C. § 7201, any taxpayer who takes a step towards not paying taxes commits a felony. These acts include keeping separate records or not recording their income. These convictions are treated as felonies that carry a maximum fine of $100,000 and/or up to five years in prison. A local non-filing taxpayer lawyer could help when someone is facing criminal allegations for not paying taxes.
Reach Out to a Washington DC Unfiled Tax Returns Attorney Today
The failure to pay taxes should not be taken lightly and the federal government will pursue parties for every dollar that they owe. Whether a failure to pay was because of a mistake or an apparent intentional attempt to mislead the IRS, you need to act quickly to protect yourself.
The IRS has the ability to impose stiff penalties for late payment. They may also refer the case for criminal charges if they believe that a failure to pay was intentional. A Washington DC unfiled tax returns lawyer could arrange for fair repayment schedules or mount a powerful defense in court against accusations of criminal activity. Contact an attorney today to learn more. Attorney-client privilege prevents the government from compelling either of them from disclosing confidential communication regarding legal advice.