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Ignoring your tax filing is a great way to get in trouble

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you simply didn't file your taxes? What would happen to you if you lived dangerously and tried the patient of the Internal Revenue Service? Well, it goes without saying that nothing good would come of it -- but let's break it down step by step anyway.

First of all, it's important to realize that nothing would happen initially, regardless of whether you were owed money or you owed the IRS money. In fact, depending on the circumstances, it could be years before anything truly happened.

But eventually something would happen (unless you are owed a refund, in which case the IRS probably wouldn't be too eager to rectify the situation). You will probably escape jail time, barring some extreme circumstances. The reason for this is that the IRS would want to get it's money from you, and that is unlikely to happen if you're in jail.

However, severe consequences will be applied to you in terms of increased fees on the taxes you owe. The IRS could even seize some of your assets to compel you to pay them. In the end, they are likely to get their money.

So what is the ultimate lesson here? Obviously, you shouldn't try to fulfill that dream of not paying your taxes. It simply won't work, no matter how much you wish it would. As complicated and painful as it may be, filing your taxes on time and wiping your hands of the IRS for another year is the best way to protect yourself from the IRS.

Source: Bloomberg, "This Is What Happens When You Just Don't File Your Taxes," Benjamin Steverman, Feb. 3, 2015

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