Tax season is here again, and maybe you feel the urge to…”tweak” your income to lower your overall tax bill. You work hard, and you feel that you deserve to keep as much of your money as possible. Surely the IRS will not notice what at first glance looks like an innocent mistake, right?

Before a seemingly innocent oversight turns into criminal charges, see what Market Watch has to say about the matter. You have a lot more to lose than you have to gain when it comes to lying on your taxes.

You risk penalties and fines

Any money that you save on your tax bill could become part of the hefty fines and penalties that come with the IRS learning that you underreported your income. Additionally, you may have to pay tax fraud or tax evasion fines. It makes no difference which tax bracket you belong to, the IRS will not hesitate to hit you with a fine of up to $250,000.

You risk an audit

There is a chance of the IRS auditing you if your reported income does not match the W-2s and 1099s the revenue service receives. Not only are audits an in-depth investigation of your finances stretching back several years, but the process can also cost you money to protect your financial and legal interests.

You risk criminal charges

Depending on the depth of your deception, the IRS may hit you with criminal charges. While you may have a low chance of receiving a fraud charge, it is still a possibility, one that comes with a potential five- to 10-year prison sentence.

It may already be too late to turn back from committing tax fraud, especially if you have done so in the past. No matter what you did in years prior, you are better off paying your full tax bill.