"Those who owe the IRS a tax return but fail to file are doing more than just breaking the law," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat. "They're draining our economy of vital resources that we need to pay for health care, education and even tax relief."
Under the president's plan proposed earlier this year, an individual who willfully fails to file tax returns in any three years within a five consecutive year period would be subject to a new criminal penalty if the total tax liability is at least $50,000. The president's proposal would classify such a failure as a felony. If convicted, an individual could face a fine of as much as $250,000, imprisonment for as much as five years -- or both.