01 Sep 23

New Jersey Tax Fraud Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 05:32 pm

New Jersey Tax Fraud Lawyers: Your Guide to Fighting Tax Evasion Charges

Tax fraud and tax evasion are extremely criminal offenses that can result in substantial criminal and civil penalties under New Jersey state law – in addition to federal law. If you are being investigated, or have been charged with tax fraud, you must retain experienced legal help to protect your rights. The Spodek Law Group is here to help you with all tax fraud laws in New Jersey. We provide defense attorneys that are skilled in tax fraud lawyers.

Tax Fraud Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey statutes establish criminal, and civil, penalties for intentionally evading taxes owed to the state of New Jersey. This includes filing false or fraudulent tax returns, failing to file returns, or engaging in deceptive practices to reduce tax liability.

Criminal Tax Fraud

Under N.J. Stat. § 54:52-1, the most serious tax fraud offense is a second-degree felony. This charge applies when the amount of state taxes evaded exceeds $75,000. Criminal tax fraud conviction can result in 5-10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000. Tax fraud between $1,000 and $75,000 is a third-degree felony with up to 5 years imprisonment. Tax fraud under $1,000 is a fourth-degree offense.

Civil Tax Fraud Penalties

In addition to criminal prosecution, the state of New Jersey can file civil suits against tax evaders to recover unpaid taxes, interest, and in addition monetary penalties. Even if you avoid criminal conviction, these civil financial consequences can be severe.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for criminal tax fraud charges in New Jersey is 6 years. For civil actions, the state can recover back taxes indefinitely until the financial liability is rectified.

Common Tax Evasion Tactics

Below are some of the typical methods New Jersey prosecutors target defendants for tax fraud charges:

  • Claiming false deductions on your tax return
  • Concealing taxable income
  • Reporting income under the wrong tax brackets
  • Using sham corporations or trusts to hide assets
  • Fabricating expenses in order to offset revenue
  • Maintaining multiple sets of books
  • Using fraudulent invoices, or doctored records
  • Destroying records to conceal tax liabilities

Potential Defenses a Tax Fraud Lawyer Could Use

NJ tax fraud lawyers are familiar with the nuances of state tax codes, and know how to make them work for you. The Spodek Law Group, a premier NJ tax fraud law firm – can analyze the details of your case to determine if any defenses are possible. Here are some potential defenses our New Jersey tax attorneys may incorporate into your potential defense:

Lack of Criminal Intent

Prosecutors must prove you knowingly breached a legal tax duty. Your criminal defense attorney can argue there was a mistake or you did not intend to break the law.

Reliance on Accountant or Tax Preparer

You could avoid willful violation claims if you can show good faith reliance on a tax professional’s advice. However, the reliance must be reasonable.

Unclear or Ambiguous Tax Code

There are countless ambiguities in state tax laws. Your tax fraud lawyer can argue your reasonable interpretation of an unclear statute should not constitute fraud.

Violations by Prosecutors

Aggressive prosecutors will often trample constitutional rights and bend the law in order to secure a conviction. Prosecutors only care about their personal track record and making sure they look good. Your criminal lawyer could seek to dismiss evidence if your Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights were infringed by prosecutors, or federal agencies.

The Benefits of Hiring a Tax Fraud Lawyer Early

If you discover you are under tax fraud investigation in the state of New Jersey, hiring an experienced tax fraud immediately is critical. An attorney can help by:

  • Working for you during audit meetings and interviews
  • Protecting you from self-incrimination, and falsely admitting to something you didn’t do
  • Gathering exculpatory evidence
  • Negotiating reduced charges, or penalties pre-trial
  • Filing procedural motions to weaken the prosecutors case
  • Developing a defense strategy

Postponing hiring a lawyer until after charges are filed can severely hinder defense efforts. You should excercise your right to a criminal defense attorney as soon as you know the state is pursuing tax fraud allegations.

How Tax Fraud Lawyers Defend Clients Before & During Trial

Once you hire a tax fraud lawyer, he or she will devote substantial efforts to beating the criminal charges before the trial ever begins. The best defense is an offense – and a New Jersey trial lawyer knows that. But, if efforts to dismiss or reduce charges fail, fighting the allegations at trial through is what will happen next. Actions skilled lawyers may take include:

File Motions to Suppress Evidence or Dismiss the Case

If there are flaws in how evidence was obtained, or legal procedures were not followed, it might be wise to make motions to exclude evidence, or dismiss the charges. Your NJ criminal tax fraud lawyers will know what to do next.

Utilize Discovery

Your tax fraud lawyer in NJ can issue subpoenas, request for production of documents, interrogatories, and depositions. This helps uncover evidence that can weaken the prosecution’s case.

Negotiate Plea Deals

Your attorney may be able to negotiate plea bargain agreements on terms that work for you and your family, such as pleading to reduced charges or sentencing leniency.

Present Affirmative Defenses

During your trial, your NJ tax fraud lawyer can bring up evidence and testimony to convince the jury that it wasn’t your fault – such as reliance on a tax preparer, which should exonerate you.

Cross-Examine State Witnesses

Skilled criminal defense lawyers will know how to find inconsistencies and credibility flaws in the state’s witnesses. Intense cross-examination can undermine the prosecution’s case and improve your chances of not being convicted.

Working with Tax Experts

Your attorney could collaborate with CPAs, fraud examiners, or IRS agents as expert witnesses. Their testimony can poke holes in the government’s case and help you disprove their allegations.

Sentencing Mitigation Assistance

It’s hopeful that diligent defense efforts will beat your charges or result in acquittals. But, if you’re convicted on tax fraud charges, your lawyer’s job continues by advocating for minimal sentencing. Strategies for this process include:

  • Present evidence of extenuating circumstances the judge should take into account
  • Challenge evidence the prosecution submits
  • Provide proof of your good character through witness testimony or letters
  • Note your clean criminal history and willingness to make restitution
  • Develop a proposed alternative sentencing plan, like home confinement or probation

Although it’s super scary when you first get charged, an experienced New Jersey tax fraud attorney can help you through the complex criminal justice system and build legal strategies to mitigate the consequences of a conviction. Retaining strong NJ tax fraud lawyer is your best chance at protecting your future.