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The Consequences of Filing a Zero Return with the IRS


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Filing taxes can be a daunting task for many individuals. With complicated forms and ever-changing tax laws, it's no wonder that some people may try to find shortcuts or ways to delay the process of filing their taxes. One such strategy that may come to mind is filing a zero return and waiting for the IRS to tell you how much money you owe. However, this approach can have serious consequences and should not be taken lightly. In this blog post, we will discuss what would happen if you filed a zero return with the IRS and why it's important to consult a tax advisor before making any decisions.

What is a Zero Return?

A zero return, also known as a zero tax return, is when an individual files their tax return with the IRS showing zero income and zero tax liability. This may happen when someone has W-2s and other tax documents but chooses not to report them in their tax return. The individual may believe that by filing a zero return, they can delay the process of calculating their taxes and potentially avoid paying any taxes. However, this is not a wise decision and can have serious consequences.

Consequences of Filing a Zero Return

The IRS has sophisticated systems in place to detect fraudulent or incorrect tax returns. If you file a zero return, the IRS may flag your return for further review and investigation. This can result in various consequences, including penalties, interest, and even criminal charges. The IRS can also reject your return, which means you will have to re-file and potentially face additional penalties for filing a late return.

Additionally, by filing a zero return, you are essentially delaying the process of determining your tax liability. This means that when the IRS does contact you, you may owe a significant amount of money in back taxes, penalties, and interest. This can be a huge financial burden and can even lead to wage garnishment or property liens if you are unable to pay the amount owed.

Why Consult a Tax Advisor?

Filing a zero return is a serious matter that can have severe consequences. Before making any decisions about your taxes, it's essential to consult a tax advisor. A tax advisor, also known as a tax professional, is an expert in tax laws and can provide you with valuable advice and guidance. They can review your tax situation and help you determine the best course of action.

A tax advisor can also help you prepare and file your tax return accurately and on time. They can ensure that all your income and deductions are reported correctly, reducing the risk of an IRS audit or investigation. If you are facing an IRS audit or investigation due to a zero return, a tax advisor can also represent you and help resolve the issue efficiently.


In conclusion, filing a zero return with the IRS can have serious consequences and should not be taken lightly. It's essential to accurately report all your income and deductions and file your tax return on time. Consulting a tax advisor can help you navigate the complex tax laws and ensure that you are in compliance with the IRS. Don't risk facing penalties, interest, or even criminal charges by filing a zero return. Seek professional help and stay on the right side of the law.