There are many reasons why someone may not have filed taxes, including financial difficulties. Back taxes accrue interest and penalties- quickly adding to the total debt owed to the IRS.
When the IRS feels you’ve been hiding money, filed fraudulent returns or willfully failed to file, there are cases where jail time is ordered. The IRS can also place liens against your property or seize your property including bank accounts and garnish your wages without ever going to court. The IRS may send you a summons to appear to meet with an IRS officer and ordering you to bring in specific documents and records. The IRS can also summon a third party without your knowledge, such as the record keeper from your bank or job to collect and gather information about you. The IRS is one entity allowed to take your social security benefits to pay off a tax debt.
Typically the IRS’s policy is to not prosecute ordinary people who make simple mistakes or whose returns were lost in the mail. The IRS typically doesn’t prosecute if you voluntarily come forward before they contact you. If you have been blatantly fraudulent, such as not responding to IRS letters year after year, the more likely the IRS is to prosecute you. When the IRS does catch up with you, they don’t have to prove an exact amount you owe in order to prosecute.
A tax attorney is the only professional who can defend you using all the protection afforded by our legal system. A qualified tax attorney is an expert who can negotiate tax settlements and is skilled at resolving the most complex tax issues. Further, if there are any criminal implications, that tax attorney will provide service to protect you. Unlike a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or other tax entity, the tax attorney affords you attorney-client privilege.
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