Another tax deadline recently passed in Tennessee. Many people may enjoy this time of year as they receive tax refunds, but not everyone falls into this category. There are many other individuals who owe taxes or have not filed a tax return yet for 2017. This can be a very uneasy time for people in this position. This is because the IRS is very good at getting the money it is owed and enforcing the laws. The IRS is not an agency that most people want to owe to.
The IRS can impose penalties both civilly and criminally. In general, civil penalties are monetary consequences. If they go unpaid, the IRS can garnish bank accounts, paychecks, and other financial resources until the debt and penalties are paid off. The IRS can also impose criminal penalties for violating the tax laws, such as lying on tax returns or engaging in tax evasion. These penalties can include fines similar to civil penalties, but they can also include jail time.
People who find themselves in these unfavorable positions may believe there is nothing they can do, but there are options available to those facing civil and criminal actions initiated by the IRS. The most important thing people can do is to deal with the issues at hand rather than ignore them. If an individual owes civil penalties, then he or she can submit offers in compromise, set up payment plans, negotiate the elimination or reduction of the penalties, or make an innocent spouse defense. In instances where allegations of criminality are levied, an accused individual can negotiate the reduction of penalties or argue for probation instead of potential jail time.
Owing money in general is not very fun, but it can be especially stressful when that money is owed to the IRS. While the IRS will do what it needs to do to collect the taxes owed to it, it will still work with people to make penalties and repayments manageable. The IRS is not usually a person’ friend, though, and at McKeller & Easter we have helped many people who owe money to the IRS. For more information on how we handle these matters please visit our Tax Law page on our website.