Confessions of a Tax Evader has helped thousands tackle IRS collections and negotiate millions in tax debt. We help our clients find immediate solutions to their tax issues so they can move on with their lives. Below, we’ve attached a fictional account from a former tax evader, “Franklin”, to better frame this type of narrative and help those with real evasion issues come clean.

I’m not proud of it, but I was a tax evader. I committed tax evasion for years.

Nine years, to be specific. After nearly a decade not filing every April, I honestly didn’t think about taxes much at all. Until one day I received a letter from the IRS, and my world came crashing down around my family and me.

Maybe I was a lot like you.

My Experience with Tax Evasion

It started earnestly enough. One August, after filing my tax return, I realized I’d omitted a huge asset. I’d purchased a farm from an aging relative the year prior, and since the whole thing was so new to me, I completely forgot to include it!

But my healthy tax return seemed to indicate Uncle Sam hadn’t noticed. The next year, I gathered the paperwork, but—and I can’t for the life of me tell you why—I didn’t file it. Nothing, again!

After that, things snowballed. By the end of that nine-year stint, I was only paying taxes on my primary income, even though I’d eventually sold the farm and reinvested the earnings in a couple rental properties. My family was doing well, and the gravity of committing tax evasion never dawned on me.

But then I got audited. I owed tens of thousands of dollars. I was scared I would end up bankrupt, or in jail, knowing full well that either option would rob my family of the future we had planned together.

There’s a Way Out for Tax Evaders

You can take steps to get yourself out of this, too, no matter how bleak things may seem. I wouldn’t wish my experience with tax evasion on my worst enemy, but I’ve learned some important lessons I think can be useful to others. So after committing tax evasion, here’s what you should do that I didn’t.

Keep Good Records

After a few years of tax evasion, I stopped keeping record of my assets altogether, outside of some basic budgeting. My wife and I knew what money we had coming in and out, but since I was usually the one who handled taxes, I stopped maintaining receipts, files, bills, and just about everything else.

When the IRS finally audited us, I wasn’t just scared at the amount of tax debt. I was scared because I realized I’d have little way of trying to negotiate that debt. How would I prove we suffered losses on the farm? Or made improvements on our rentals?

Keeping records is tough, but I learned the hard way that it only hurts you in the long run.

Don’t Ignore the IRS

It’s embarrassing to say, but the first letter I got from the IRS I threw in the trash. I guess I thought I could convince myself I hadn’t seen it, that maybe I’d just confused it for junk mail! I was dead wrong.

If the IRS sets out to find you, they probably will. I thought by ignoring reality, I could ignore the immense feelings of shame and dread that were building up from my tax evasion. But it only exacerbated the debt and penalties I had already racked up.

It’s going to be scary, but you need to face the music. Ignoring the IRS only makes things worse.

Get Help Early

I tried to navigate the IRS auditing process for a few months before realizing I was in way over my head. I figured, “I’m a tax evader. It happens!” As the reality of being thousands of dollars of debt set in, I knew I couldn’t go it alone. For my family and for our future, I reached out and got help.

Taxes are complicated enough. Whether you’ve committed tax evasion or not, you’re most likely not an expert. But there are experts out there. I was lucky to find a company to help me navigate my situation and advocate to the IRS on my behalf.

When you’re facing thousands or more in tax debt, penalties, or even just an audit, you need someone in your corner—and a professional can go a long way.

Dealing with Tax Debt and Your Future as a Tax Evader

Fortunately, I was able to get my debt reduced substantially by taking advantage of an IRS forgiveness program, and my family is no longer facing the grim possibility of bankruptcy. I regret what I did, but I know I’m not alone in doing it. No two situations are the same, but I think there are a few real lessons I learned—the hard way—that you can learn from.

Evading my taxes was a mistake, but tax evasion doesn’t define my family’s future. And it doesn’t have to define yours.

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