WHAT CAN THE IRS ACTUALLY DO?
A. Failure to file tax returns is a crime punishable by up to one year in prison for each year a return is not filed and a fine of up to $25,000.
Under the appropriate statute of limitations, the IRS has up to six years to prosecute you for the crime and it normally does not pursue prosecution after the statute of limitations time period has expired. In some cases, Fraud has no statute.
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26 U.S. CODE & 7203
Any person required under this title to pay any estimated tax or tax, or required by this title or by regulations made under authority thereof to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 ($100,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
In the case of any person with respect to whom there is a failure to pay any estimated tax, this section shall not apply to such person with respect to such failure if there is no addition to tax under section 6654 or 6655 with respect to such failure. In the case of a willful violation of any provision of section 6050I, the first sentence of this section shall be applied by substituting “felony” for “misdemeanor” and “5 years” for “1 year”.
If you are ultimately contacted by a special agent of the IRS regarding failure to file an income tax return, you can be sure that you are the subject of a criminal investigation.
B. To pursue non-filers, the IRS will launch a Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation.
THE IRS CONTACT NON-FILERS IN ONE OF FOUR WAYS:
A VISIT FROM AN IRS AGENT
If the IRS cannot make contact with you in any of these ways, it will set a deadline for you to file a return through written notice and again have an agent attempt to visit you.
If you did file a return but did not pay any taxes due, you will not be charged with a crime but will be assessed penalties and interest with respect to the total amount due. Penalties differ based on several factors, but it is expensive not to file.
3. IRS can prepare your tax return under 6020 B of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) Execution of a tax return by Secretary
(1) Authority of Secretary to execute return.
If any person fails to make any return required by any internal revenue law or regulation made thereunder at the time prescribed therefor, or makes, willfully or otherwise, a false or fraudulent return, the Secretary shall make such return from his own knowledge and from such information as he can obtain through testimony or otherwise.
(2) Status of returns – Any return so made and subscribed by the Secretary shall be prima facie good and sufficient for all legal purposes.
For those of you who file correct inaccurate tax returns this tip will have no bearing on you whatsoever.
However some of you or my guess many of your clients need to file back tax returns.
The IRS computers continue to run searches every day for non-filers. The tax gap between those who have not filed to what should be collected and in the system right now is approximately $450 billion, so IRS is actively seeking non-filers.
At some point in time the Internal Revenue Service will catch up to non-filers.
The number one source that IRS uses to catch up the people are, W-2s, 1099s and other associated documents that are produced by third parties in given to or reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Internal Revenue Service has a matching program which collects billions of dollars a year by matching up the W-2s, 1099s, and other associated documents with Social Security numbers.
At some point in time if the 1099’s, W-2 or other associated match reporting document does not match up with a given Social Security /Tax Return, IRS will start a civil or criminal investigation.
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Some Recent Tax Settlements:
Mr. Dillard - CA Owed $6884, IRS settled for $400
Mr. Batiste - LA Owed $18513, IRS settled for $2972
Mr. Johnson - CA Owed $21,378, IRS settled for $4500
Ms. Gonzalez - TX Owed $28,816, IRS settled for $1700
Mr. Anthony - NY Owed $14,000, IRS settled for $900
Mr. Wilkes - CA Owed 32,211, IRS settled for $1250
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