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What happens if you don’t pay federal income tax?

If you decide against paying federal income tax, the Internal Revenue Service will eventually catch on. When they do, you will be put in a difficult position.

No matter your reason for not filing, you must take into consideration the fact that the IRS could crack down on you hard. You are making a conscious effort to avoid this, and for this reason the penalties could be harsh.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

-- Failure to file a federal tax return can be considered a criminal violation of the law, leading to large penalties and possible time in prison.

-- The IRS does not charge people with crimes who make a simple mistake on their tax return. This is different than knowingly avoiding the payment of income tax.

-- If you cooperate with the IRS, there is less chance of being prosecuted.

-- The IRS does not have to know exactly how much you owe in order to charge you with a crime.

-- The IRS has the right to charge you interest and penalties for any amounts you have not paid in the past.

There are times when the IRS believes a person committed a crime, but in all actuality he or she made a simple mistake. For example, they could have hired a tax professional who did not have their best interests in mind.

There are many risks of not paying federal income tax. Despite these, some people still make the mistake. Anybody in this position who is facing off against the IRS should learn more about his or her rights.

Source: FindLaw, "What to Expect If You Don't Pay Your Taxes," accessed March 04, 2016

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