I was recently talking with an acquaintance who told me about a friend of his that had not filed a tax return for several years… Now, we all know that burying our head in the sand is no way to deal with *any* problem – but especially this one.
Right off the top of your head, I’m sure you can name a few folks who have been “taken down” by the IRS for tax evasion. Let’s see… for starters, Wesley Snipes, Sophia Loren, Richard Hatch, Leona Helmsley, Richard Pryor, Pavaratti, Martha Stewart, Elton John, Nicholas Cage, Heidi Fleiss… the list goes on.
And then there is probably the most powerful, certainly the most influential, of all of these: Al Capone. The granddaddy of ’em all. Legend has it that the notorious gangster once remarked that tax laws were a joke because “the government can’t collect legal taxes on illegal money.” The IRS charged the infamous Chicago mob boss with failure to pay four years’ worth of taxes. Capone was sentenced to 11 years in jail and an $80,000 fine in 1931.
My point in listing all these names is to show just how pervasive and powerful the IRS can be. Even the likes of Al Capone (as well as, believe it or not, former Vice President Spiro Agnew, and even a former IRS commissioner, Joseph Nunan) couldn’t escape the long arm of the Treasury Department.
Now, if you happen to be in a position where you have not filed tax returns for some time, or if you are simply having difficulty paying the taxes that you owe, Uncle Sam has many options to help you work things out. On the IRS’ website (www.IRS.gov) you’ll find information on how to work out a plan with the Treasury Department in order to get you back on track.
And if you need help in working with the IRS for any reason, don’t hesitate to contact me.
*This post first appeared here. Side Note: Jim’s original tax preparation service was named MHR Income Tax Service and stood for Many Happy Returns.
Jim Blankenship, CFP®, EA is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Illinois. He provides expert guidance for your Retirement, Education Funding, and Income Tax issues and concerns. In addition to his blog “Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row”, you’ll find Jim’s writings all around the internet, as he is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, TheStreet.com, and FiGuide. Several other sites also republish his work. He has also written An IRA Owner’s Manualand A Social Security Owner’s Manual – both books provide comprehensive guides to these vexing subjects.
Contact Jim: 630-40-DUCKS (630-403-8257) [email protected]
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