Can You Go to Jail for Not Filing a Tax Return?

Can You Go to Jail for Not Filing a Tax Return?

Helping you understand laws and the legal system, because not knowing can destroy your life.

Hey, guys, Todd Ayers is back with some information about filing tax returns. Fun, right? I was talking with a friend who works at a car accident law firm on Long Island, and he mentioned that someone he knew had gone to jail for not filing their taxes!


I thought, “What! That can’t really happen, can it?” So, I decided to do some research, and boy was I surprised by what I found!

Below, let’s get into some of the penalties for not handling your taxes.

Failure to File Your Taxes

When you don’t file your tax returns, you can go to jail. This is considered a crime, and the IRS does prosecute for this offense from time to time. However, it’s important for you to know that it’s rare. Some other penalties you could face for not filing your tax returns:

  • A failure to file penalty fee will be assessed to your account.
  • The IRS might file your tax return for you, and they won’t take ANY deductions or tax credits into consideration, which means you will likely get a much larger tax bill.

Failure to Pay Your Taxes

So, now you know what happens if you fail to file your tax returns, but what happens if you don’t pay? If you filed your taxes, but you haven’t paid the tax bill, you won’t be sent to jail. However, you can destroy your life in other ways.

The IRS can levy your personal property, such as bank accounts, vehicles, and real estate. They can file a Federal Tax Lien against you. They can suspend your passport. You will also be hit with failure to pay penalty fees and interest charges.

How to Get Right with the IRS

Unfortunately, there’s really no way to get around filing and paying your taxes—it must be done. Luckily, the IRS does have programs available to help you get your tax issues under control. You might qualify for an “offer in compromise,” “currently not collectible” status, or you could set up monthly payments.

Jail Is Rare for Tax Issues—Thankfully!

Thanks for visiting Ayers Info. I hope that this information helps you to stay informed and avoid any legal trouble regarding tax filings. I know I learned a lot! Thanks for checking in with me today, and I’ll be back next week with some more legal information to help you stay informed and avoid legal hassles.

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