To Pay or Not to Pay

TaxtimeHere’s a hypothetical question. Say, someone hadn’t filed (state) taxes in quite some time, maybe a decade or so, not so much because they’re a bad person (though there’s a multi-generational propensity to this—maybe it’s genetic) but because every year they owed and every year they didn’t have the money and every year the person would think that the following year they would be in a financial state to be more upstanding and when this all began the individual was considerably younger and poorer and naively assumed that if they ever got caught it would be so far in the future that by that point they would have the income to just deal and pay up. Well, this person didn’t quite morph into the financially successful adult version of their early ‘90s self (this person also just this morning realized that their twenty year high school reunion is in a mere three years and felt the most genuine shock in ages). So, this year the person only owes a small amount and actually is in a position to fork over the cash. The question is whether filing and sending payment will set off a red flag and trigger a look into why this person suddenly appeared in 2007. One would think that an overloaded system would have better things to do than find small potatoes offenders, but you never know. This person has week to decide whether or not they want to contribute to society. I don’t think they do.

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