I have not filed income tax returns or paid income taxes in a number of years. Will I go to jail?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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If you are in this situation it is ESSENTIAL that you consult with an attorney immediately. As a general rule, things would go FAR WORSE for you if the Government learns that you did not file tax returns or pay taxes from its own investigation, or from a former spouse or domestic partner, or from a disgruntled business partner or employee. If you do nothing, there is significant danger that you will may be awakened on morning and arrested by grim-faced Federal officers.

Your completely confidential consultation with an attorney would be protected by the attorney-client privilege and remain confidential. (In contrast, consultations with other tax professionals, such as accountants, generally are not legally privileged and confidential.) An attorney can explain to you what your options are, whether you may qualify for a taxpayer amnesty program, and determine how to best resolve the matter with the IRS to minimize the serious risks you face.

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