Tax Professionals Assisting Clients in California and Nationwide
It can be a nightmare to face criminal tax charges. Simply being accused of tax fraud or tax evasion and needing to go through an investigation can be emotionally damaging, stressful, and potentially harmful to your reputation. If you suspect that you will be investigated either criminally or civilly, you should immediately contact a skillful criminal tax fraud attorney. At Enterprise Consultants Group, our Los Angeles tax fraud lawyers may be able to provide a strong defense. This type of representation is crucial when trying to resolve an investigation and mitigate the potentially devastating consequences of tax fraud or tax evasion.
Tax Fraud and Evasion Under IRS Rules
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is an executive agency within the Department of the Treasury that collects and processes tax returns and investigates suspected federal tax crimes. Special agents for the IRS have the specific task of stopping, detecting, and investigating tax fraud and tax evasion. You can be charged with tax fraud if you intentionally and illegally fail to pay or underpay taxes that you owe. The government can pursue civil or criminal tax fraud charges. Sometimes both types of charges are brought. Sometimes conspiracy charges are brought alongside other tax crime charges.
Tax fraud can include intentionally failing to file an income tax return, intentionally failing to report all of the income that you received, willfully failing to pay taxes that have come due, making false or fraudulent tax claims, or preparing and filing a false return. The IRS understands that honest mistakes happen and tries to distinguish between negligence and willful tax fraud or evasion. The IRS is alert to potential signs of willful tax fraud, such as falsifying documents, concealing or transferring income, falsifying personal expenses, overstating deductions and exemptions, willfully underreporting income, claiming an exemption for a nonexistent dependent, or using a false Social Security number. You should contact a tax fraud attorney at our Los Angeles firm if you may have done any of these things.
Tax evasion is prohibited under 26 U.S.C. section 7201. To prove tax evasion, a prosecutor will need to show that you knowingly and willfully underreported your income on your tax return, with the intent of evading tax payment to the government. Simply forgetting to file a tax return would not count as tax evasion. Similarly, not paying your taxes because you unreasonably did not think that you owed money would not be tax evasion. To the contrary, you need to take one or more affirmative steps with the requisite state of mind: “knowingly and willfully.”
Another similar crime involves making false statements on income tax returns under 26 U.S.C. section 7206. You can be found guilty if you knowingly and willfully signed and submitted a tax return that includes material false statements, while you were intending to violate a known legal duty. Accordingly, you would not be liable for mistakes or misunderstandings. Another tax crime involves aiding or assisting in the preparation of false documents under 26 U.S.C. section 7206(2).
Tax Fraud Penalties
A taxpayer who willfully tries to evade income tax payments can be subject to both criminal and civil penalties. The nature of the fraud will decide which penalties will be imposed. Our Los Angeles tax fraud attorneys can explain the consequences that you may be facing. Generally, attempting to evade paying taxes is a felony, for which you may face up to five years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines as an individual, plus prosecution costs.
If you are found guilty of fraud or making false statements, you can face felony charges. The penalties may include up to three years of imprisonment, up to $250,000 in fines for individuals, and prosecution costs.
If you willfully fail to file a return, willfully fail to provide the IRS with information, or willfully fail to pay taxes at the times required by law, you can face a misdemeanor charge. You may face up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals, and prosecution costs.
Explore Your Options with a Knowledgeable Tax Professional
If you are facing tax fraud or tax evasion charges in Los Angeles or elsewhere, the tax fraud lawyers at Enterprise Consultants Group are ready to help you devise a defense strategy. We represent people throughout California and elsewhere in the U.S. Call us at (800) 575-9284 or complete our online form.