According to a Department of Justice press release, an Oklahoma man was recently sentenced to serve 24 months in a federal prison stemming from a variety of tax crimes including preventing the IRS from collecting a tax debt and failing to file a tax return, as legally required. This story is a stark reminder to taxpayers that whether you simply attempt to ignore the IRS and their collection efforts or if you actively attempt to prevent the collection of tax debt, the longer that you attempt to avoid the inevitable, the worse the consequences will be.
Court documents reveled that John D. Petrig, 49, of Tulsa, pleaded guilty back in February to a single count of tax evasion. For the 13 tax years between 2000 and 2012, the defendant worked for an ATM service company as an independent contractor. His job duties involved installing ATM machines inside casinos. Petrig’s company compensated him based on the number of transactions that were completed at the ATMs that he installed.
On his 2005 individual income tax return that was filed in 2012, Petrig reported that he owned tax of over $110,000. The IRS and Department of Justice alleged that he, in fact, owed more than $217,000 in taxes, interest, and penalties and that Petrig made affirmative efforts to evade the payment of that amount. For instance, when the IRS tried to levy his commission payments from his employer, Petrig directed his company to send his commission checks to a nominee entity. The IRS estimates that Petrig earned nearly $5 million between 2006 and 2012, but failed to file tax returns or pay any taxes for those years.
After Petrig completes his two-year prison sentence, he will be required to serve three years of supervised release. Additionally, Petrig was ordered to pay restitution of nearly $1 million to the IRS.
Millions of Americans owe taxes and many of them have made arrangements with the IRS, but there is a good amount of individuals who haven’t. Owing taxes is not a crime, but taking steps to avoid the payment of that debt, or to thwart IRS collection efforts can result in a criminal prosecution and a lengthy federal prison sentence. If you have a tax debt and are struggling to pay as agreed or haven’t come to an agreement with the IRS as to the terms of payment, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced tax attorney. They can assist in the development of a plan to work with the IRS to resolve your tax debt. Making efforts to frustrate their collection efforts will only result in harsher consequences.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in representing taxpayers from varying backgrounds and financial situations. Whether you have not filed a tax return in over a decade or simply forgot to file your last year’s return, our team of zealous advocates is poised to assist in the development of a strategy that will keep your physical and financial well being top-of-mind. Do not let the possibility of criminal failure to file charges keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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