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What is the crime of failure to pay tax? What is punishment

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What is the crime of failure to pay tax? What is punishment

Franchise Tax Board (FTB) Publishes List Naming California’s Top 500 Delinquent TaxpayersOrdinarily, when a taxpayer does not file a return or pay any tax, the government will charge for the failure to file rather than for the failure to pay. However, if a taxpayer does file a return but fails to pay the tax shown on the return, the government may charge for the failure to pay where evidence is lacking as to additional affirmative acts, such as concealment of assets in the face of collections, which would then constitute the basis for a more serious attempted evasion charge.

Under the law, tax must be paid at the time the return is required to be filed, not including extensions (the original due date of the return). Thus for example, when an individual has obtained an extension of time to file an income tax return to October 15, the tax nevertheless is due and must be paid by the original due date of April 15. However, it is possible under the law to obtain limited extensions of time to pay taxes. Moreover, the failure to pay provisions expressly apply to the willful failure to pay estimated taxes as they become due (roughly quarterly), but the statute specifies that there is no criminal liability for failure to pay estimated tax if the taxpayer is not liable for civil penalties for that failure which are calculated on the annual return.


This crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and/or fine of up to $25,000 ($100,000 for corporations). The statute of limitations is six years.