Did you let Tax Day come and go without filing a return or paying what you owe to the IRS? If so, you are certainly not alone, but that doesn’t make the consequences that you face any less serious.
Chances are that you didn’t file a tax return because you can’t afford to pay the money that you owe. Maybe you don’t even know how much you will owe, you just know that you can’t afford to pay the IRS anything.
Or maybe this isn’t the first time you have avoided filing a tax return, and you got away with it in the past so you figured you would just try to avoid paying again this year.
The problem with this thinking is that the IRS will catch up with you eventually, and if you haven’t taken steps to rectify the situation yourself, the IRS could come after your home, garnish your wages or file criminal charges against you.
However, if you do take voluntary steps to remedy the situation with the help of an experienced tax lawyer, chances are that you will be able to put your tax worries behind you by using the IRS’s voluntary compliance program.
The voluntary compliance program involves three steps:
- Voluntarily informing the IRS of your failure to file a tax return for one or more years before you are under criminal investigation;
- filing a correct tax return or working with the IRS to determine your tax debt; and
- making full payment on the taxes owed either up front or over time with a payment plan.
That means even if you can’t afford to pay the taxes that you owe, you are still best off voluntarily disclosing your tax debt to the IRS and working with your tax attorney to reach an agreement with them.
No matter your situation, you’re always better off making the first move with an effective lawyer on your side than waiting for the IRS to come knocking.