I generally agree with the other attorneys. The IRS will charge a late filing penalty, late payment penalty, if there is anything due and interest. You can request penalty abatement if there is reasonable cause. Depending upon the length of time he and/or you do not file, the IRS could criminally investigate and possibly charge you with misdemeanor failure to file or tax evasion. If you have income over a certain amount, you need to file your returns.
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Assuming you are talking about criminal tax fraud, it depends. The Advisory Sentencing Guidelines look at the tax loss in addition to other factors that may increase the offense level. You may have circumstances that warrant a downward departure. Also, if you provided assistance to the government, the government may move to have your sentence reduced and/or eliminated. Finally, it depends upon the sentencing judge as he/she has latitude in handing down a sentence.
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In most cases, I would say yes. It depends upon what issues the IRS is auditing. Do you have unreported income? Were the expenses you took travel and/or meals and entertainment? Can you recreate any of the expenses? How much money are we talking about? In some cases, you can bring in an experienced CPA who can handle the audit. However, if the case goes criminal, there is no accountant privilege. Be careful as the IRS will most likely open up 2012 if already filed and possibly 2010 if...
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