Faking Death to Avoid Paying the IRS: Is It Possible?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

You’re drowning in debt and desperate to get out of paying the IRS. When a mountain of debt takes over and you face repercussions such as liens, levies, or even jail, solutions that once seemed outrageous begin to feel realistic. Hence, the surprising frequency with which taxpayers reference the possibility of faking their own death.

Why Faking Your Death Is an Unrealistic Solution

Otherwise known as pseudocide, the practice of faking your own death is difficult to pull off in today’s society, in which big data provides detailed insights into both digital and real-world activity.

A faked death represents the very definition of willful — and the most severe IRS consequences involve cases in which the person responsible for tax obligations willfully avoided them. 

Real-Life Examples of Faked Death Attempts

Pseudocide might not be a smart idea, but plenty of people have tried it anyway. For example, David Staveley attempted to use this strategy after he was accused of fraudulently applying for the Paycheck Protection Program. He managed to live in Georgia under an alias but was eventually tracked down after a thorough investigation by the FBI and the IRS.

Initially, he faced federal charges of defrauding the CARES Act by claiming a need to pay for employees who weren’t actually on payroll. After he was released, however, his vehicle was found with a key in the ignition — and containing a suicide note.

As this example illustrates, it’s very difficult to get away with either defrauding the IRS or escaping via a faked death. In reality, the IRS often rewards honesty and, with proper representation, will often make significant concessions to people dealing with major tax issues.

Thankfully, there’s no need to take drastic measures such as faking your own death. The Highland Tax Group can help you find a far easier resolution for your IRS concerns. Contact us today to get started.