The Pappas Group in Orlando has been helping taxpayers get caught up with their back taxes for more than 20 years. Here are a few things you need to know if you haven’t filed your tax return.
Not Filing Your Tax Return is a Crime
Many of our clients come to us because they haven’t filed their income tax returns for several years.
Some have never filed.
The typical reason given for not filing is that the taxpayer didn’t have the money to pay the tax.
By failing to file a tax return because of an inability to pay, the taxpayer effectively converts what would be a civil collection matter into a potentially criminal one.
The Criminal Non-Filing Statute
Title 26, U.S.C., Sec. 7203, makes it a crime for a person to willfully fail to file a federal tax return when he or she is required to do so.
A person can be found guilty of that offense only if all of the following facts are proved beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the person was required by law or regulation to make a return of his income for the taxable year charged;
- That the person failed to make a return at the time required by law; and
- That the person’s failure to make the return was willful.
A person is required to make a federal income tax return for any tax year in which he has gross income in excess of a specific amount, set by law, which changes from year to year.
Preparing and Filing Your Back Tax Returns
If you owe the IRS back tax returns, you need to file them immediately to prevent a referral to the Criminal Investigation Division.
If you don’t have records for the prior years, you may estimate your income and expenses and file a return that includes a disclosure that you have done so.
For back tax help, call the tax professionals at the Pappas Group.