Obama Hopes to Heighten Criminal Penalties for Tax Non-Filers

Not long ago, the Obama administration released a set of tax proposals that it hopes Congress will enact. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention, because I’ve been busy and because it’s Congress that will eventually be making these decisions, so these proposals from the executive branch don’t necessarily mean much for future tax law.

Still, one of the proposals jumped out at me as being of particular interest to some tax resisters, and I thought it was worth putting on your radar.

Currently, if you just plain do not file your 1040 at all, you can be hit with penalties and interest. You can also be charged with a misdemeanor, though this is rare. The Obama proposal would add a felony failure-to-file crime for people who fail to file in at least three of five consecutive years, where the amount of tax at issue is at least $50,000.