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What to Do When You Forget to File Taxes

June 12, 2021 Federal Criminal Attorneys

What to Do When You Forget to File Taxes

As soon as people realize that they forgot to file their taxes, the first thing they often do is panic. Mistakes can happen in many ways for a person or small business owner regarding their tax filing and obligations. Some taxpayers might stress over how they could have possibly made this simple error. Some may be concerned about the IRS penalties and fines they will be liable for over and above the amount of tax already due and owning.

What Penalties Would I Be Liable for If I Forget to File My Tax Return?

Some may be shocked to find that nearly all Americans are under an obligation to file and pay taxes. While there are those who may protest that they can’t possibly make enough income to have to file, the reality is that the levels of income a person can earn before a tax filing obligation is triggered is extremely low. For example, in the case of a sole filer in the 2014 tax year, an obligation to file taxes started at a mere $10,150 in income. Although married couples filing jointly and senior citizens can earn more and still not file, it is not significantly greater. A taxpayer with income at this level or above has to file their taxes every year by the April 15 tax filing deadline.

Any taxpayer who fails to file their taxes by the annual deadline, or one who do not file a request for an automatic filing extension in a timely fashion, is subject to failure to file penalties. If the taxpayer had a tax bill that was due and neglected to make payment, a failure to pay penalty could also be imposed on them. The penalty for failing to file is assessed at a 5% penalty on the amount due for each month or part of a month in which the obligation remains unsatisfied. For example, if you fail to file taxes until June 15, you would be assessed penalties for the months of April, May, and June because June is a partial month.

Every individual tax issue is unique and subject to its own concerns and circumstances. That said, while a taxpayer should proceed with his or her investigation of any issues in a diligent manner, consulting with a tax professional who has the capability to assess the situation and its risks is highly recommended.

What to Do If You Forget to File Your Taxes

Pursuant to legislation, a person’s failure to file tax returns or pay necessary taxes can expose them to serious penalties.  These can include criminal charges if the issue is not resolved. For the most part, you can be successfully brought back into compliance and not face any criminal tax charges if you quickly reach out to a skilled Tax Lawyer. Moreover, if you reach out to our experienced dual licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs before filing your domestic or international entity or personal taxes, we can conduct a thorough accounting of your books and records to make certain that you file complete, accurate and true returns.  We can also assist you if you need to file for an extension because you are not going to be prepared to file on the return due date.

In cases where you have already failed to file or request an extension, our lawyers are well versed in how to deal with things in a manner that will minimize any potential civil and criminal penalties. In certain scenarios, we might be able to convince the IRS to waive any civil penalties and simply allow you to file your returns late.  This is especially true if your facts are related to COVID-19. As stated above, sometimes people have serious events in their lives such as a medical emergency that could provide a valid explanation of their failure to file on time. IRS agents have the discretion to waive all penalties and simply collect any back taxes owed.

In some cases, a taxpayer may also find him or herself in a situation where they are simply unable to pay the amount owed in back taxes. Our skilled Tax Attorneys and CPAs are well aware that life sometimes throws you curveballs.  We can speak about your situation to the IRS agents on your case. In most cases, we have been able to get you on a reasonable payment plan that won’t overly impoverish you.

In cases where you have already been charged  or are under investigation for this offense, or we are unable to talk the IRS or state taxing authority out of a criminal tax referral, our well seasoned tax lawyers at are prepared to defend you against these federal or state. Because the IRS has a very high (90%+) conviction rate in the cases that they refer for a criminal investigation, we can attempt to work out a deal for your charges to be dismissed or reduced in exchange for you dutifully fulfilling your filing obligations and making a faithful effort to start paying your back tax bill. In the event that a deal is not possible, we will leave no stone unturned to put together the best defense possible.  The goal will be either to earn a declination, win a not guilty verdict at trial, or provide a cooperation-based defense in an effort to control the damage if the government is intent upon prosecuting you to the fullest extent of the law.

Get Yourself a Skilled Tax Attorney for Non-Filed Tax Issues

When you have not filed your tax returns, this can result in serious consequences for the taxpayer. That said, any taxpayer who works to fix their IRS tax problems before receiving a notice from the IRS, will typically find more favorable outcomes. So in answer to the question “What to do when you forget to file taxes,”  you should call us to schedule your first consultation with an experienced tax attorney and CPA by phone or online right away.



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