According to a Department of Justice press release, a Pennsylvania energy company’s owner was sentenced as a part of a large-scale biofuel tax credit scheme. Whether the tax credits pertain to education, biofuel, or solar panel installation and use, the IRS takes schemes that attempt to inflate or fraudulently claim credits extremely seriously and will use all of the tools in its tool belt, including criminal tax prosecution, to demonstrate its enforcement authority. If you have falsely-inflated your right to use tax credits or have taken another position on your tax return that could not be supported upon an IRS or state tax examination or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense lawyer for assistance in getting right with the government and removing the risk of criminal tax prosecution.
Court records show that Ben Wootton, 55 of Savannah and Race Miner, 51, of Marco Island, Florida, were sentenced to serve 70 months and 66 months in federal prison, respectively. They were both convicted of filing a false tax claim, conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the IRS, and lying to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the two men and their company, Keystone Biofuels, Inc. falsely claimed biofuel tax credits. Under U.S. tax law, biofuel companies are entitled to certain tax credits when they produce biofuel that meet certain EPA-mandated standards. As a part of their scheme, the defendants and their company lied to the EPA to qualify the fuel that they generated as meeting the standards to earn the biofuel tax credit. Both men were ordered to pay restitution of $4,149,383.41 to the IRS and restitution of $5,076,376.07 to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Although the above story involved biofuel tax credits, the IRS will go after the common, everyday American for abusing other federal tax credits. Common tax credits include the foreign tax credit, the earned income credit, various educational tax credits, among many others. When a taxpayer fraudulently claims a credit, especially one that is refundable, they are effectively stealing money from other taxpayers. Thus, the IRS is particularly sensitive to taxpayers who misuse the tax credit system.
If you have taken a tax credit that you may not qualify for, or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported upon examination, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of an experienced tax defense attorney. Together, you will lay out the pertinent facts of your case and develop a roadmap to come into compliance. Best of all, when represented by a seasoned tax lawyer, you will never have to go up against the IRS alone.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosurebefore the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax investigation / prosecution, the taxpayer can ordinarily be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously often receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply.
It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from being potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended, in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.
Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime in itself). Only an Attorney trained in Criminal Tax Defense fully understands the risks and rewards involved in voluntary disclosures and how to protect you if you do not qualify for a voluntary disclosure.
As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, KovelCPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and your net worth. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!
Regardless of your business or estate needs, the professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are here for you. We are open for business and our team will help ensure that your business is too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.
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