Can I Goto Jail For Not Filing My Federal Taxes?

Tax evasion is a federal crime, but there are situations when a person does not have to file a federal tax return. Income limits and where a person’s income comes from dictate whether or not a person has to file taxes. Recipients of Temporary Aid to Needy Families and Social Security beneficiaries do not need to file federal taxes. A person who runs his or her own business usually does, and so do people who make over $8,000 per year from a job where they fill out W-2s. Independent contractors follow the same rules that small business owners do.

When Do I Need To File Federal Taxes As a Small Business Owner?

You need to file federal taxes if you make over $400 per year after profits as a small business owner or an independent contractor. Earning more this amount in gross income does not matter. Only the net income a business earns determines whether or not you need to file a return with the government. States do not operate by the same rules as the federal government. Check your state laws about filing income tax returns to avoid civil penalties.

If I Don’t File Federal Taxes, Will I Go To Jail?

Only if you fail to file them consistently and only if you make no effort to pay your taxes can you go to jail. Celebrities who have gone to prison for tax evasion include Al Capone and Willie Nelson. The prison terms for tax evasion are not long, but the average person prefers to avoid doing any time in a medium security prison. Filing your federal taxes every year can help you avoid this fate. It does not save you from an audit if the government believes it found any problems with your income tax return.

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