Failure to file tax returns can result in an IRS Criminal Investigation and may be a criminal act punishable by one year in jail for each year not filed. The IRS may file “SFR” (Substitute For Return) Tax Returns for you. This is the IRS’s version of an unfiled tax return, which is actually an inflated tax assessment against you.
You always have the right to file your own return, no matter how late it is. You don’t go to jail when you can’t pay, but you might if you don’t file.
Taxpayers fail to file required tax returns for many reasons. Failure to file tax returns may be construed as a criminal act by the IRS. The IRS may file “SFR” (Substitute For Return) Tax Returns for you. This is the IRS’s version of an unfiled tax return. Because SFR returns are filed in the best interest of the government, the only deductions you’ll see are standard deductions and one personal exemption. You will not get credit for deductions which you may be entitled to such as exemptions for spouses, children, interest and taxes on your home, cost of any stock or real estate sales, and business expenses, etc. Regardless of what you have heard, you have the right to file your original tax return, no matter how late it’s filed.