Benjamin Franklin once said that only death and taxes were certainties in a person’s life. Sadly, it’d be rather hard to disprove that notion. Regardless of where a person lives or what they do, they end up paying taxes. Even people who have no home, property or belongings end up paying sales taxes when they make purchases. The taxes that most people dread, however, are those originating from the IRS. Individuals hate these taxes so much, in fact, that some try to avoid them. Sadly, this can lead to terrible consequences.
Legal Vs. Illegal Avoidance
There’s no doubt that taxes are a huge concern in the American psyche. In fact, one of the newer widespread political factions claims that taxes are a huge part of their platform. One thing that many people agree on, however, is that some corporations or wealthy individuals seem to get by without paying their fair share of taxes. In fact, super company Facebook paid no taxes at all for 2012.
It’s important to recognize, however, that what Facebook did was actually legal. The company used the tax laws that exist to reduce their tax burden to a point where they owed nothing. The typical taxpayer cannot manage this. It’s important to note, however, that simply not filing taxes is illegal. While many would think that Facebook’s behavior is unethical, this doesn’t give anyone the right to illegally avoid paying taxes.
Consequences of Not Paying Taxes
The consequences of not paying taxes can be extreme. If a person fails to file their taxes, for instance, the IRS may file a substitute return for them. Unfortunately, this return will not include most money-saving deductions, so an individual will end up owing more. Even worse is the fact that, even in a best-case scenario, when the IRS finds out that taxes are owed, the amount will still be due regardless of whether taxes were filed or not.
Additionally, the IRS can garnish a person’s wages, and unfortunately, many social security beneficiaries have even discovered that the government will garnish their benefits check as well. Others are surprised to find out that the IRS will also place levies on their property, retirement accounts and even bank accounts. The biggest consequence, however, is the fact that the IRS may file tax evasion charges against an individual if they see fit.
Options the IRS Provides
Luckily, the IRS is more interested in getting their money than in sending someone to prison. This is why they provide several methods meant to make a person’s life easier when facing tax burdens. One such option is an installment agreement. The IRS will charge a fee for this agreement, but it will allow those who qualify to pay off their tax debt in smaller installments rather than all at once.
Additionally, some individuals may be qualified to get a temporary delay on their tax burden. The IRS may allow a person to choose to pay their taxes a few months after they’re actually due. Some penalties will still be assessed during this time, but the non-filing penalty will be avoided entirely. This is why an individual, even if they can’t afford what they owe, should still file their taxes; and sometimes, it could help to seek professional assistance.
The IRS provides a multitude of options for those who only owe a small amount for one calender year. Sadly, handling these issues becomes more difficult when a person owes a large amount or owes multiple years of taxes. Regardless, it never hurts to seek out a tax relief company like Instant Tax Solutions. These professionals know all of the state, local and federal laws of an area, so they’re more likely to be able to help a person handle their tax burden efficiently. However a person chooses to settle their business with the IRS, it’s simply critical that they do so.
Melanie Fleury has dealt with the IRS for individual taxes as well as business taxes. She has found that if you are in doubt about what you are doing, or have received notification from the IRS about an error, finding a tax service like Instant Tax Solutions can help to navigate the IRS rules.