Taxes are one of the few certainties in life, and trying to avoid paying them never seems to end well for anyone. If you are being accused of committing tax evasion, you need to take the charge seriously. You should also seriously consider hiring a Mercer County white-collar crime lawyer who can help you defend yourself.
What is Considered Tax Evasion?
Tax evasion is not making a small mistake on your tax return. It is when someone purposefully tries to avoid paying tax that they should have paid. You can take deductions that lower your tax liability. Everyone can do that. It is when you make efforts to subvert the system and defraud the government out of money that can result in criminal charges. The IRS just has to show that you deliberately tried to keep money that should have been paid to the government. There are a few different actions that can be considered tax evasion, including:
- Failing to file a tax return
- Reporting less income
- Filing a false return
Any of these actions can attract the interest of the IRS, and that could result in criminal charges.
How Can I Be Punished for Tax Evasion?
If it is found that you took actions to defraud the government and reduce how much you paid in taxes, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to one year and fines of up to $25,000. If you have multiple counts of tax evasion against you, you could end up facing a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of $100,000.
Remember, filing and making a mistake is not the same as committing tax evasion. If you can show that you made a good-faith effort to pay your taxes, the IRS will often just adjust what you owe and settle up. If you are underreporting your income or doing something sketchy with deductions in order to reduce your tax liability, that is when you are likely to get in trouble.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
We suggest talking to a lawyer if you are being charged with tax evasion. Your attorney can:
- Communicate on your behalf, preventing you from incriminating yourself
- Negotiate for lesser punishments
- Build a case that shows that any alleged tax evasion attempt was an honest error
The prosecution and the IRS have plenty of resources on their side. You should at least have an attorney that you can depend on in your corner.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are being accused of tax evasion, you should contact the Law Office of Douglas Herring. You need to be ready to defend yourself from these charges, and having a lawyer experienced at handling white-collar crimes can help with that. Call our law firm and schedule your initial consultation today.