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Filing Income Tax Incorrectly On Purpose!

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If someone was married on September 2, 2000 and they have 2 kids from a previous marriage and had been filing as HH (head of household) and then they separated from their new spouse at the end of September, but got back together at the end of October and never filed a separation or divorce papers, then they would have to file either MFJ or MFS, right? If they knowingly used their previous last name and filed as HH so they could claim their 2 children and get EIC (Earned Income Credit) then they are turned into the IRS for tax evasion then what could happen to this person? Jail time? Fined? Thanks.

I'm in Virginia, but I don't think it matters because this is federal taxes.



Filing status

You are correct about the requirement to file as married.

The IRS will recomputed the tax return as it should have been, and will assess the person an amount for the underpaid tax and interest.

If a taxpayer's return is inaccurate, the IRS could assess a 20 percent accuracy-related penalty.

The IRS could levy a civil penalty of 75 percent of the portion of any underpayment of tax that's attributable to fraud. (IRC section 6663(a)). The imposition of a penalty for fraud on any portion of an underpayment precludes the imposition of any of the accuracy-related penalties. (IRC section 6662(b)).

The IRS may or may not assess one of the above penalties. And if the penalty is assessed, the taxpayer may be able to get it removed.

As for criminal penalties, a willful attempt to evade taxes is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 ($500,000 for corporations) and up to five years' imprisonment, plus the costs of prosecution. (IRC section 7201). However, in a case like the one you specify, the criminal penalty is very rarely considered.

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