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How the Failure to Spend $150 Over Three Years Destroyed a 30 Year Career

May 16, 2018


In one of the sadder cases we have ever seen with regard to a taxpayer ruining their lives just because they couldn't find the time to file their tax returns, Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa resigned today after he was charged by the US Department of Justice for failing to file his tax returns for 2013, 2014, and 2015. De Sousa's resignation was the unfortunate end point for a 30 year career in law enforcement.


De Sousa was popular among Baltimore politicians as a favorite son, having risen from patrol officer to the highest ranking position in the city's police department. He took over the department four months ago, the tenth commissioner in 19 years. Baltimore's police have been in more turmoil than usual since the 2015 riots over the death of a suspect in custody and the subsequent trials of the officers involved. 


There are some indications that De Sousa's overall financial affairs may be a little sketchy given that DOJ has chosen to prosecute a situation that the IRS normally handles internally via administrative proceedings. But it seems tragic that the failure to spend $50 a year on TurboTax or similar tax prep software, or even better yet--a tax professional for only a little more, has resulted in the loss of a $210,000 annual salary job and no doubt significantly diminished earning potential for the foreseeable future. 


The IRS gives us three years to file amended returns after an initial filing, so even if De Sousa had quickly filed returns that later needed to be changed due to inadvertent errors, there would have been plenty of time to make the necessary corrections and come into full compliance.


Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. The cost of CPA or EA (or even online tax software) is trivial compared to the costs of noncompliance with federal tax laws. Give us a call if you have any doubts over y0ur tax situation, or to save precious time in filing every more complicated tax returns. We can be reached at 301-841-0209 or

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