Why Not To Cheat On Your Taxes

You really shouldn’t cheat on your taxes. It’s bad karma, and it’s dishonest. That should be enough reason not to do it, but for some people, it isn’t enough. The temptation is there, especially when you are doing it yourself.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

Even though the reward seems to be great, the penalty is even greater. You don’t mess with the IRS. Think of all the celebrities who have been in big trouble because of tax evasion, Wesley Snipes, Martha Stewart, and Nicholas Cage to name a few.

Most of these tax-evading celebrities probably owe the IRS more than most people will make in their lifetime, but that doesn’t mean we can skimp on our own taxes unnoticed. There are procedures in place to deter people from cheating when filing their returns.


No matter if you are being honest, or lying about your taxes, being audited is a big pain. You have to collect all your documents, prove everything that you submitted is correct, and redo all the work you just did. It takes time, but it is always worse if you have lied about your taxes.

My in-laws were audited once. The only reason they were was because the company they worked for did not do their insurance right, causing the IRS to become suspicious. Even though they didn’t do anything wrong, they were nervous. They quickly began scrambling together all the documents they needed to prove that they hadn’t done anything they shouldn’t have.

It didn’t matter that it was the company’s mistake and not theirs; everybody suffered.  By the time everything was said and done, they paid for the portion of the insurance the company hadn’t accounted for.

This is an extreme case, but it is possible for anybody to be audited. One red flag the IRS sees, or even just a random can cause you to reassess all your income for the year, reconfiguring everything you did just a few short months earlier. As you file your taxes this season, just do it the honest way. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Harsh penalties

The IRS takes people who cut corners with taxes very seriously. There is no way for you to stand up against the Internal Revenue Service. Not that you aren’t smart, but when it comes to the legal system, they are smarter. It doesn’t matter how much you kick and scream, or point the finger, or even claim how unfair the tax system is, they have you beat.

Purposefully filling out a false tax return is a criminal offence. Whether you yourself have committed tax fraud, or assisted anybody else may lose their property, or be faced with jail time. This usually comes after refusing to pay for an extended period of time. Even if you have gotten away with tax fraud in the past, eventually the IRS will notice and catch up with you.

Being honest

It doesn’t matter why you are honest, it only matters that you are. Here are a few of the results of a poll taken by the IRS:

  • 63 percent stated they were honest on their tax return for fear of an audit
  • 41 percent claimed they were honest because their neighbors are
  • Only 11 percent thought it was alright to cheat a little on your tax return

Of course these numbers may be a bit skewed because it was the IRS who conducted the poll, but the numbers are clear enough to indicate that most Americans do not agree with cheating on your taxes.

It’s never a smart idea to cheat. Wouldn’t you rather be honest with your tax refund? Forget honestly, I’ll say it to you this way, if you aren’t honest on your tax refund, the IRS will catch up to you, and fine you more than the refund was worth. Pay your taxes.

About the Author: Cassie has looked into using resources, such as taxlawsolutions.com to file her own tax returns to avoid mistaken tax fraud. She believes that the best policy when filing is honesty. In other tax related stories, she writes about who to trust with your taxes, and what to do with your refund. 

Related Post