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Last Updated on: 1st September 2023, 02:37 am
Alaska Tax Fraud Lawyers: How They Can Help You
Tax fraud and tax evasion are extremely serious crimes – which lead to very heavy penalties and jail time if convicted. In the state of Alaska, tax fraud laws are enforced by state and federal agencies. When you have an experienced Alaska tax fraud lawyer on your side, it can truly make all the difference if you’re being investigated or charged by authorities.
Below is an overview of tax fraud laws in the state Alaska, and how a knowledgeable tax fraud attorney can defend you in court. Depending on the level of the tax fraud, it can be a civil or criminal investigation.
Tax Fraud Laws in the state of Alaska
Under Alaska state law, tax fraud – also known as tax evasion – is criminally charged under Alaska Statute 11.46.190. This legal statute makes it a felony to evade paying Alaska income taxes by doing things such as:
- Filing a false, or fraudulent tax return
- Failing to file a tax return
- Supplying false, or fraudulent, information for your tax return
- Attempting to illegally get tax refunds
The criminal penalties under penal law AS 11.46.190 depend on the amount of tax owed or the amount of tax evaded:
- Less than $25,000 – Class C felony (up to 5 years in prison and/or $50,000 fine)
- $25,000 to $100,000 – Class B felony (up to 10 years in prison and/or $100,000 fine)
- Over $100,000 – Class A felony (up to 20 years in prison and/or $250,000 fine)
In addition to criminal penalties, the Alaska Department of Revenue can impose substantial civil fines of up to $25,000 for tax fraud.
Alaska tax fraud can also be charged under federal law by the IRS. It’s possible for tax fraud to be criminally prosecuted by both federal and state authorities. The main federal tax crimes you could be prosecuted for are 26 USC 7201 (tax evasion) and 26 USC 7206 (filing a false return). The penalties for federal tax fraud convictions can include up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. It is a very heavy crime and one which you don’t want to get prosecuted for criminally.
Hiring an Alaska Tax Fraud Lawyer Is Crucial
Facing tax fraud charges in Alaska can be extremely frightening and scary – this is no laughing matter. The penalties for tax fraud are severe, the IRS and state Department of Revenue have dedicated significant resources to prosecuting federal and state tax crimes. Having an experienced Alaska tax fraud lawyer can help even the odds – losing the fight means jail time, and more. Here are some key benefits of hiring an Alaska tax fraud attorney:
- Expertise dealing with complex tax laws – Tax law is very complicated. Tax fraud lawyers understand the intricacies that prosecutors have to prove, and where the weaknesses in their case may be. It’s super helpful hiring a tax fraud lawyer, especially someone whose a former prosecutor.
- Assert your rights – When you first get notified of an audit or investigation – or are the subject of a raid, get interviewed, or face a potential criminal trial, your rights are essential. An attorney ensures your rights are protected at all stages of the criminal investigation.
- Avoiding self-incrimination – When you’re facing state or federal tax authorities, you could be compelled to provide documents, testimony and more that incriminate you. Any evidence you provide can be used against you. Your lawyer can interact with investigators on your behalf and make sure nothing you say or provide is used against you.
- Mounting a defense – Tax fraud accusations have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer’s in-depth investigation of the facts, and defenses, could get criminal charges dismissed or acquitted at trial.
- Negotiating with federal prosecutors – Even if the evidence against you is strong, prosecutors could agree to reduced criminal charges or sentencing recommendations in exchange for a guilty plea from you. Your Alaska federal tax attorney is the only person who can negotiate the best deal.
- Tell your story – If you’re convicted, skilled legal defense by your tax fraud lawyer could reduce your sentence or penalties.
When you select an Alaska tax fraud attorney, you want a criminal attorney who has proven experience handling state and federal tax cases. You should make sure to ask about the lawyer’s specific work with criminal tax defense, including their trial experience and negotiation skills in plea deals. It’s important to hire an assertive and knowledgeable tax lawyer who gives you the best chance of a favorable result.
Fighting Alaska Tax Fraud Allegations
Alaska tax fraud allegations have to be taken seriously and handled in a timely manner. Just because you are being audited, or investigated, does not mean you will be criminally charged by authorities. And, if you are charged, there are several avenues to fight the accusations. There are some common defenses, and litigation strategies, Alaska tax fraud lawyers could use such as:
Lack of Criminal Intent
For a conviction to occur, federal prosecutors have to prove you willfully violated tax laws, and were intending on committing tax fraud. But mistakes on taxes can often happen. If your actions were based on a misunderstanding, or reliance on an accountant/tax planner, erroneous information, or lack of knowledge rather than criminal intent, it is not tax fraud – it is negligence, but not criminal.
No Tax Deficiency
If an aggressive auditor feels you claimed improper deductions, or underreported income, or made other tax return errors, they could assert you owe more taxes. But, if your Alaska tax fraud lawyer can show through evidence, and an understanding of tax law that your original return was actually correct, then there is no tax deficiency and no criminal tax fraud.
Violations of Your Rights
Allegations of misconduct by auditors or investigators, such as violation of your due process, illegal IRS/tax agency searches and seizures, racial profiling, or insufficient notice, could make any evidence gathered inadmissible in court – which weakens the prosecutor’s case. Dismissal of the case could result from this.
The strength of the government’s case hinges on witness and expert testimony. Weak witness testimony means there’s reasonable doubt.
If convicted of tax fraud, skilled legal help is needed at sentencing. With documentation of extenuating circumstances and positive information about your work, family, and community service, it could persuade the judge to minimize your federal sentence and penalties.
Having an experienced Alaska tax fraud lawyer look at the prosecution’s case, create legal defenses, and represent you in legal negotiations or at trial – will give you the best chance of winning. Their intimate understanding of tax law, criminal defense, and dealing with state and federal tax agencies could make a huge difference.
Tax Fraud Penalties in Alaska
If you’re convicted of state tax fraud in Alaska, the penalties you face will depend on the amount of tax evaded and other factors. As mentioned earlier in the article, under Alaska Statute 11.46.190 the criminal penalties range from a 5 year felony to up to 20 years in prison. The federal courts can also impose substantial fines up to $250,000.
Prosecutors could also agree to recommend reduced sentencing as part of a plea bargain negotiated by your criminal defense attorney.
In addition to criminal penalties, the Alaska Department of Revenue will look for substantial civil penalties against you for tax fraud. The criminal fines will be an amount up to triple the additional amount owed in taxes, plus interest of up to 15% annually back to the date the tax was originally due.
If you are pleading guilty or convicted of federal tax fraud under IRC 7201 or 7206, penalties could potentially include:
- Up to 5 years in prison
- Fines up to $250,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations)
- Paying the total amount of tax owed, plus interest and penalties
- Community service
Only an experienced Alaska tax fraud attorney will have the skill and knowledge to minimize any criminal penalties, and defend against excessive civil penalties. Their advocacy could save you prison time, massive fines, reputation damage, and financial harm. With so much at stake, retaining a knowledgeable tax fraud lawyer is essential.