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Tax Crimes

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Tax crimes in the United States encompass a number of different white collar crimes. No matter what the specifics, tax crimes are federal offenses that can result in severe penalties for a person who is convicted. Generally speaking, in most cases, if a person is audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), they are simply required to pay the taxes they owe, plus interest and penalties. There may also be a late filing fee imposed on the person. This is not something that would warrant a person being criminally prosecuted. However, if the individual is guilty of tax fraud, they can be charged and convicted of a federal offense.

What are Tax Crimes?

There are many different types of tax crimes. Some the crimes include tax evasion, filing a false tax return, filing false documents, failing to pay taxes, failing to file a tax return and failing to collect employment taxes. Tax evasion, in particular, is a serious offense and doesn’t merely take into consideration that the individual does not report all of their income but also overstates the amount of the deductions on their taxes as well.

It’s important to note that an honest mistake on a person’s taxes does not automatically equal tax fraud. the individual would have to knowingly cheat to commit a tax crime. Carelessness does not equate to a criminal act. The IRS will examine certain details to determine whether a person has committed tax fraud by checking for typical signs of the crime. Some of those signs include the following:

• Understating one’s income
• Inadequate records
• Failing to file tax returns
• Concealing one’s assets
• Engaging in illegal activities
• Dealing in cash
• Failing to make estimated tax payments
• Implausible or inconsistent explanations of behavior
• Attempting to conceal illegal activities
• Using a fake Social Security number
• Claiming an exemption for a dependent that does not exist

Who Most Commonly Commits Tax Crimes?

Generally speaking, those who most commonly commit tax crimes include people who are service workers and self-employed individuals who are primarily paid in cash or operate businesses that are based primarily on cash. This is because it tends to be easier to understate income that is earned in cash as opposed to that acquired through paychecks or direct deposit. Car dealers and other salespeople, restaurant owners, store owners, hairdressers, accountants, lawyers and doctors are at the top of the list in terms of being tax crime offenders.

Penalties and Sentences for Tax Crimes

If a person has been found guilty and convicted of tax fraud or any other type of tax crime, they will receive both criminal and civil penalties. The specific penalties the individual receives generally depends on the type of tax crime they committed. However, there are several potential penalties and sentences the person can be subject to:

Attempting to evade or defeat paying taxes: If the person is convicted or tax evasion, they are charged with a felony and can receive a term of prison for up to five years or a fine that can range from $250,000 for an individual or up to $500,000 for businesses. Some individuals who are convicted of this tax crime can receive both penalties.
Tax fraud and false statements: Tax fraud and filing false statements is also a felony charge. A person convicted of this crime can expect to receive up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $250,000 for individuals or up to $500,000 for businesses or both penalties, in addition to the cost of prosecution.
Willfully failing to file a return, provide information or pay taxes in a timely manner: This tax crime is charged as a misdemeanor, which means a person who is convicted can receive a term of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals or up to $200,000 for businesses or both, in addition to the cost of prosecution.

A person who faces charges for tax crimes needs the assistance of a skilled attorney. These are serious charges that warrant expertise from a lawyer who knows how to build the best possible defense.

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