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Understand what you need to do when you owe back taxes

If you know that you owe the Internal Revenue Service money for back taxes, don't think that you can just push them off. The IRS is often ruthless when it comes to collecting money.

If the money that you owe is because you weren't truthful on tax returns or due to similar issues, you need to take care of your obligation to pay them. In some cases, this can make the difference between facing criminal charges or simply paying what you owe along with associated penalties.

Below are some tips for those who owe the IRS money:

-- You aren't going to go to jail just because you owe the IRS. If you owe the IRS money because of an honest mistake, you won't end up behind bars. The issue of incarceration comes into the picture if you committed a crime, such as tax fraud.

-- If you do get notices from the IRS, make sure that you read them carefully. Each notice will have important information about what rights you have and what options exist to resolve the issue. This is especially important if the problem is due to an error on your part or a mistake of the IRS.

-- If you do find out that you are facing criminal charges, make sure that you start working on your defense right away.

Don't put off the process thinking that the charges will go away because they are not going to just disappear. Your attorney will need you to gather whatever evidence you have to prove your side of the case.

Source: FindLaw, "Ten Things to Remember When You Owe the IRS," accessed June 22, 2017

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