Bangor, ME asked in Tax Law for Maine

Q: I was paid under the table for seven months when I was 16-17yo and didn’t know I had to file taxes. what can I do?

When I was 16 my mother passed away and I took work on a local farm (Maine). They paid me under the table for 7 months and I made less than 4000$. I didn’t know until this morning I had to report this and file taxes. I’m scared I broke the law here and need help. I want to work in law enforcement and don’t want this to affect my hiring capability. I feel like I should file my 2018 tax papers with this info, but I don’t have an exact amount I got paid, or any other info for this. Will I be charged with a crime for filing the taxes two years late? I’m really scared here and any help from lawyers would be greatly appreciated.

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Really? Let me get this straight: Just after you learned that the federal government was getting ready to send out $1,200 checks to everyone who filed their 2018 tax return and paid their taxes you suddenly felt a need to "come clean" about not reporting some $4,000 that you admittedly took "under the table" for 7 months of work on a farm in Maine--way back when you were only 16 or 17. Wow, what a coincidence.

While I do admire your willingness to try to get right with the tax man before they find out what you (and the farmer that paid you under the table) did wrong, this questions makes me want to ask where you worked in 2018? Or 2017? Did you file taxes in those years? Why not? (Note: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.)

Advice: Unless you have good answers for these questions I advise you not to stir up dark waters--at least not before you visit a CPA or tax lawyer and tell them about your potential crimes. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

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