Most Americans have an obligation every year to file their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a summary of what they made, lost, or invested in the prior year. Occasionally, there is a discrepancy with these filings that might suggest a person or business underpaid their taxes or did not pay at all. In these situations, it is often best to be proactive and discuss the matter with a professional.
A Rockville unfiled tax returns lawyer might be able to help. A skilled tax lawyer could work with you to ensure that you properly file your federal and state tax returns. In many situations, a lawyer could help you come into tax return filing compliance with the IRS and the Comptroller of Maryland, as well as schedule a payment plan for the amount you owe for previous years. Our firm’s back tax return filing service is primarily for those with large pending tax debts (usually individuals or businesses with over $100,000 in income), while most individuals who make under $12,500 are not required to file a tax return.
Maryland collects property taxes, income taxes, and other taxes from its residents. Leaving tax returns unfiled is typically a civil offense, with the potential of becoming a criminal offense in only a small number of cases. A taxpayer will be assessed a failure to file penalty of 5% of their unpaid tax debt for each month that it was late. This maxes out at 25%.
Under Maryland Code, Tax – General § 13-704, a fraudulent failure to file a Maryland tax return with the purposeful intent of evading taxes can result in penalties not exceeding 100 percent of the underpayment of tax.
According to the Maryland Code, Tax – General § 13-1001, it is illegal for any taxpayer to willfully fail to file a tax return if they are required to by law. Convictions under this law can lead to a penalty of not more than $10,000 and up to five years imprisonment. However, most non-filing cases can be resolved with some careful paperwork.
Just as Maryland receives payment in the form of taxes, so too does the federal government. Federal laws also prohibit the intentional failure to file a tax return. According to 26 United States Code § 7203, a court has the power to levy a fine in the amount of $25,000 for unfiled tax returns and also include a jail sentence of up to one year. A Rockville unfiled tax return lawyer could work with those who are unsure of what they have to file and examine whether they have any kind of criminal exposure.
Most individuals and businesses who must address nonpayment did not intentionally fail to file their tax returns. Although there may be penalties and interest assessed, it is better to file tax returns later than to not file them at all. A Rockville unfiled tax returns attorney could help to bring the taxpayer into compliance through strategic filings (especially those involving offshore disclosure) that satisfies the requirements of the IRS and the Maryland Comptroller.
Both state and federal governments have a right to collect taxes from a person’s or business’s income. There are potential consequences when a taxpayer does not meet their obligations, but criminal exposure only exists if it can be shown that they had willful intent not to leave their tax returns unfiled or unpaid. A Rockville unfiled tax returns lawyer could sit down with you and explain the best way to come into compliance. If your income is large enough that it becomes necessary to explain why a nonpayment occurred, a lawyer could also assist in reviewing your situation to determine if the mistake was un-willful. Reach out to a lawyer today to get started.
Pontius Tax Law, PLLC is a tax law firm that strives to resolve sensitive tax problems through trust, dedication and value. The law firm was founded by John Pontius with offices in Washington, DC, Rockville, MD, Bethesda, MD, Fairfax, VA, and Alexandria, VA. Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national, and international.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Pontius has represented businesses and individuals with complex tax issues in the following areas: FBAR examinations, offshore and domestic disclosures, FATCA, FIRPTA, tax planning, unfiled tax returns, release of tax liens and levies, trust fund recovery penalty, IRS and state audit examinations, as well as appeals, penalty abatement, U.S. Tax Court litigation, along with defense of tax fraud and evasion. If you require assistance from a tax lawyer, contact Mr. Pontius to discuss your situation.