America’s tax-collecting agency collected $48.7 billion in enforcement revenue — the highest amount in 10 years. What’s more, audits of individual taxpayers increased 6 percent in 2006.
If you’re one of the thousands of Americans who is concealing income or owes the IRS back taxes, you’re running out of time. And fast.
“We have put more emphasis on enforcement,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson in a recent statement.
And with that extra effort on enforcement come jail sentences. The sentences are hard time in the Big House.
• 66 months — The amount of jail time Charles Sigerseth, 66, of Sacramento, Calif., received for cheating on his taxes and using an illegal trust to conceal income.
• 46 months — The amount of jail time Frank Kolk, 50, of Las Vegas, received for defrauding his company and concealing $1.3 million in taxes from the IRS.
• 21 months — The amount of jail time Seth Bryant, 21, of Wichita, Kan., received for filing a false tax return that fraudulently claimed a $5,160 refund.
• 15 months — The amount of jail time Nigerian national Robert O. Emojevwe, 54, received for making 46 false claims to the IRS while living in Dothan, Ala.
• 5 months — The amount of jail time Scot J. Seaman, 33, of Wildwood, Mo., received for failing to file income tax returns for the years 1998 to 2002, creating a tax loss of $73,141.
Need additional evidence that the Internal Revenue Service is on a mission to prosecute tax cheaters far and wide?
Since taking the top job at the IRS, once the butt of jokes for its ineffective tax-collection activities, Commissioner Everson has turned the agency around and rehabilitated its image.
Last year, for example, audits of individuals with income of $1 million and higher increased 33 percent while audits of individuals with incomes over $100,000 jumped 18 percent.
If you have a large tax debt or if you have evaded income taxes using one of the many popular but ineffective and illegal schemes, you should be losing sleep. Why?
Because all the evidence suggests the IRS wants you. But the IRS has consistently offered leniency to tax cheats who come forward. You should consider a new New Year’s Resolution: Eliminate your tax problems.
About Becky Schmitz
Becky Schmitz is a certified tax resolution specialist and enrolled agent. Named 2006 Top Practitioner by the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers, she is the owner of Centsable Accounting, a tax problem resolution company serving Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Centsable Accounting offers many services related to tax problem resolution including a free tax problem resolution consultation.