You know that it’s illegal not to pay the taxes that you owe. Everyone is bound to pay their taxes, whether they are employees or business owners. Anyone with an income is going to need to pay some amount of tax on it at the end of the year.
You also know that it’s illegal to misrepresent your taxes so that you don’t pay as much. This is known as tax fraud or tax evasion. If you file your taxes and you owe money, then you have to pay the IRS the full amount on schedule or you could be subject to up to 25% in fines.
But what if you simply didn’t file your taxes at all? Is this also illegal?
There can be serious ramifications
For most people, filing taxes is a requirement and failing to do so is illegal. This is just another type of tax evasion, similar to artificially reducing your income so you don’t have to pay as much. If you have a filing requirement, you must file. Not everyone has an income or has to pay taxes, but those who do need to make sure that they send the paperwork to the IRS on time.
This isn’t just a financial issue. It can be, as noted above, since you’ll have to pay fines for taxes that are paid late. But any type of intentional fraud, such as deliberately refusing to file your taxes, could even bring on criminal penalties. The IRS takes this very seriously.
Can you pay back taxes?
The good news is that, if you failed to file or forgot to file, you may be able to pay off the back taxes that are owed. The IRS is willing to work with taxpayers who are making an honest attempt to pay the money they owe and who are not committing fraud.
Of course, that process can be very complicated, especially if you have a lot of money or have a very complex tax situation. It’s imperative that you know exactly what legal steps to take with so much money on the line.