Can You Go To Jail For Not Paying Your Taxes?

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It is possible to go to jail for not paying your taxes. However, many issues with the IRS are considered civil matters and do not end up rising to criminal ones. If you are facing criminal charges leveled by the IRS, you need to do everything that you can to defend yourself. Schedule a consultation with a Bergen County criminal defense lawyer from our firm as soon as you can.

What If You Don’t Have Enough Money to Pay Your Taxes?

It’s easy to end up with an unexpected tax bill. A change in your financial situation, marital status, number of dependents, or the tax code itself can end up drastically affecting how much you pay. Filing your taxes and realizing that you do not have the funds to pay the resulting bill can be a stressful situation.

This is also an understandable situation though. If you work with the IRS, you can usually work out a payment plan. If your bill is extremely high, sometimes a compromise can be accepted. If you act in good faith to pay your tax bill, that goes a long way. The IRS takes way more issue with someone who does not file at all.

Is There a Difference Between Avoiding Taxes and Evading Taxes?

You may have heard the terms “tax avoidance” and “tax evasion,” and while they sound similar the definitions of each term are actually quite different. Tax avoidance is legal. This can describe steps that someone takes to reduce their tax bill, like taking deductions that they are entitled to or structuring as some kind of business or corporation.

Tax evasion is illegal. This is when you go outside the tax code and legal system to lower your tax bill. Lying about your income and hiding money that you made is one example of this.

When Can Criminal Charges Be Filed Over My Taxes?

Criminal charges can be filed if you evade taxes or help someone else evade taxes. You can also be jailed for failing to file a return or filing a fraudulent tax return. There is a statute of limitations for most tax crimes, giving the IRS six years to pursue criminal charges.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Unless your issues with the IRS have advanced to criminal charges, you probably do not need a criminal defense lawyer. You may want the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in taxes though. A CPA can obviously help you too. Trying to fix a problem with the IRS on your own is likely to be stressful.

Talk to Our Legal Team

If you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Office of Boyd & Squitieri. We can take the time to learn more about your case and if we can provide you with the help that you need. Schedule an appointment with our team today.