I am asked this question frequently. Folks who haven’t filed their taxes, folks who haven’t paid their taxes and folks that are just plain hiding from the IRS.
The basic answer to this question is YES, most definitely. The way you interact with the IRS can lead to criminal prosecution. When the IRS feels that your behavior has reached a criminal level, they will gather the facts of your case and hand it over to the Department Of Justice.
Here is a recent example of James Brassart being sent to prison because of his IRS interaction:
Let’s look at the facts in this article that contributed to the prosecution’s case against James:
- Failed to pay taxes due
- Took extensive steps to conceal
- Used three nominee corporations
- Filed four false bankruptcy petitions
- Made false statements in which he concealed
- File fraudulent documents in which he concealed
Mr. Brassart’s sentence:
- 3 years in prison
- 3 years supervised release
- Pay approx. $1.4M in restitution
We can see that James exhibited a pattern/habit of behavior that culminated in criminal prosecution. Would he have been prosecuted for any of these actions singularly? Probable not. But the repeated actions designed to avoid payment of taxes pushed the IRS too far.
Do you have taxes you have not paid? Is the IRS going to put you in prison? Probably not, but don’t let it become the beginning of a long road of deception and deceit. Solve your tax problem today!