Is it true that few people committing tax crimes go to jail?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2019 | Tax Crimes

Taxes — no one likes them, but just about everyone is subject to them. There are millions of Americans, though, some likely residing here in Connecticut, who are failing to pay taxes either in full or at all. In fact, they are accused of finding ways to cheat the system in order to benefit themselves. Tax crimes are serious, but a recently released article suggests that fewer people committing tax crimes actually end up going to jail. Is that true?

According to the article, nearly 14 million taxpayers are said to owe $131 billion to the government. For every 30 taxpayers who dutifully file and pay their taxes in full each year, there is at least one person or business that does not. The number of people failing to pay the appropriate amount in taxes each year has tripled since 2002. Why?

The Internal Revenue Service has fewer employees now than it has had in the past. This organization lacks the staff to review and go after every taxpayer who may be trying to cheat the system. So, yes, fewer people are going to jail for their alleged tax crimes simply due to a lack of government resources.

The truth is, purposely withholding tax payments to the IRS is considered a felony-level offense. Connecticut residents who are accused of refusing to pay taxes, failing to pay taxes in full or various other tax crimes could end up owing a significant amount in fines and have to spend years behind bars. While the IRS may lack necessary resources to prosecute every case, when they do decide to take action, one can believe that they will put everything they have into winning the case. Those accused of tax crimes can help themselves by seeking legal counsel in order to determine how to best address the situation.