Shortly after the New Year rolls around, taxpayers experience the dread of tax season. April may seem far away, but the tax return deadline comes in the blink of an eye for the majority of us who wait to gather and submit our critical documents to the IRS. Whether it’s due to procrastination or downright avoidance, every year hundreds unfiled tax returns go neglected—but not without notice.
If you have unfiled taxes, whatever the case may be, the IRS knows and will sooner or later come after you to collect what they’re owed (if they haven’t already). This post answers some insightful questions for those who are considering not filing a return this year, who failed to file tax returns in the past, or who are in desperate need of unfiled tax return help. Let’s take a look at the consequences and see what you could potentially stand to lose.
Is Not Filing a Tax Return Illegal?
Yes, if you’re required to submit an income return to the IRS and fail to file, your unfiled taxes are considered a crime in the eyes of the law ever since the tax bill was passed within the 1913 Sixteenth Amendment. It states that “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived…” and both federal and state agencies enforce “tax code” compliance. Not everyone is subject to the same requirement, however, as your tax obligation is based on:
Your filing status
Your gross income
Generally speaking though, most adults with earned income are subject to tax codes, and by failing to file your tax return you subject yourself to a host of consequences.
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