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Does getting behind on taxes immediately mean facing charges?

| Apr 15, 2021 | IRS

Getting behind on your taxes or not paying taxes at all is a polarizing situation to end up in. You may have had various reasons for not paying your tax obligation, but you did not do so in order to purposefully defraud the government. Individuals whom the IRS suspects of fraudulent activity can face criminal charges, and you do not believe that suits your situation. 

Unfortunately, taxes are complicated, and you and many other Georgia residents could end up in a difficult spot because of how you or a tax preparer handled your tax return. Still, that does not mean you are out of the woods when it comes to facing repercussions from the IRS. 

No ill intentions 

It is not true to say that everyone who avoids paying their taxes has ill intentions. You could have made a mistake, or you may have received advice from less-than-reputable individuals or people who thought they had the right information and did not. In any case, you ended up owing the IRS and are now over your head because of your outstanding balance. 

Will you face charges? 

If the IRS does believe that you intentionally evaded your tax obligation, you could face criminal charges. The IRS may think that you underreported your income, did not file your income tax return at all or underpaid the necessary taxes. However, if this happened simply because you did not have the funds to cover your tax obligation, you could avoid criminal action by taking steps to address your outstanding tax debt. 

You could work to determine whether an offer in compromise could allow you to pay the IRS less than what you owe. On the other hand, you could apply for currently not collectible status in hopes that the IRS will halt collection efforts on your owed balance for a temporary period. You could even possibly qualify for another type of payment plan. 

What’s right for you? 

Each case is different. If you have concerns about your outstanding tax obligation and hope to find relief, reviewing your available options and determining which could best apply to your personal circumstances could help you start a path toward tax relief. In the event that you do face criminal allegations from the IRS, gaining information on your defense options may be worthwhile. 

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