No Cheat Codes for the IRS: Video Game Developer Goes to Jail for Tax Fraud

Video game developer David Rushton is going to spend six months in jail for tax evasion.  This is certainly quite a change in Rushton’s circumstances: he’d been a successful video game developer, working on Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, and other well regarded titles.

What went wrong? David Rushton started his own company in 2005, which grew to employ over 200 people.  He then failed to file his tax returns for the next two years.   Additionally, he filed phony W-2s that generated fraudulent returns. The Utah Tax Commission investigated, and it was game over for David Rushton.

Filing Late Tax Returns

David Rushton failed to file state tax returns for two years.  He’s not alone.  Many people miss state and federal tax filings, with absolutely no intention of ever breaking the law.  Filing a return gets forgotten, or postponed, and suddenly a year’s gone by. Then another year passes, and another.  People delay addressing the issue because they don’t know where to start.

Unfortunately, a serious problem can develop while you’re trying to figure it out. Failure to file state and federal tax returns carries serious criminal penalties.

It’s always better if you find solutions to your tax problems before the tax authorities let you know there’s a problem.  Don’t wait for the state tax department or the IRS to contact you about your unfiled tax returns. Start solving the problem right away. If you are in the same situation, here’s a few things you need to know:

  • You have the right to file an original return, no matter how late it is!
  • Late returns often receive special scrutiny from the tax authorities.
  • It is prudent to have qualified professional assistance when filing late tax returns — particularly if you’re going back a number of years.

Don’t file late tax returns on your own.  Work with a licensed tax professional to make sure your interests are protected.