Tax evasion is a crime that involves the illegal non-payment or underpayment of taxes. It typically occurs when taxpayers make false declarations to tax authorities or fail to file necessary forms altogether. It can also happen where a tax debtor takes illegal actions to avoid paying taxes that are admittedly due and owing.
The U.S. government treats tax crimes very seriously. Over the years, many celebrities have learned this lesson the hard way. Most celebrities convicted of evasion have had to pay expensive fines. Some of them have even had to spend time in jail. If you have a potential criminal tax issue, it is best to consult with our attorneys to avoid facing the same fate.
Reach out to our experienced Dual Licensed Criminal Tax Defense Attorneys and CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing by calling (800) 681-1295 or schedule a reduced rate initial consultation online here.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported upon an IRS or state tax authority audit, eggshell audit, reverse eggshell audit, or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your best route back into federal or state tax compliance without facing criminal prosecution.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed foreign information returns coupled with affirmative evasion of U.S. income tax on offshore income) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosure before 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!
Wealthy celebrities may be more likely to face tax audits than other people. Over time, many celebrities have been charged with tax evasion. In some instances, they inadvertently hired inept tax advisors. In other cases, they intentionally filed false returns. The following are examples of high-profile cases where celebrities were convicted of tax crimes:
Wesley Snipes is a famous actor known for his performances in movies like “Blade” and “White Men Can’t Jump.” In 2008, Snipes was convicted of tax crimes for failing to file his returns between 1999 and 2001. It was determined that he had prevented the government from collecting $7 million in taxes during this period.
For his actions, Snipes was sentenced to a prison term of 3 years in Pennsylvania. He began serving his sentence in 2010 and was released on house arrest in 2013. However, his punishment did not end there. In 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ordered Snipes to repay $9.5 million in back taxes.
Mike Sorrentino, also known as “The Situation” on the popular reality television show “Jersey Shore,” was charged with failing to fulfill his income tax obligations on $9 million of his earnings collected between 2010 and 2012. Accordingly, in 2019, he had to spend 8 months in jail.
Actor Stephen Baldwin has also been convicted of tax evasion. In 2013, he pleaded guilty to non-payment of his state income taxes for 2008, 2009, and 2010. According to the Los Angeles Times, he caused the government a tax loss of $400,000.
Baldwin stated that his tax evasion was not intentional. Rather, he asserted that he simply received improper guidance from his accountants and lawyers. He was able to avoid jail time and probation by paying off his debt within a year.
If you suspect that, like Baldwin, you have been led astray by bad advice when filling out your taxes in the past, seek help avoiding criminal penalties. Our Dual Licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs are ready to help with your case.
Rapper Jeffrey Atkins, known by his stage name of Ja Rule, pleaded guilty to evading income taxes on over $3 million in earnings. In 2011, he was sentenced to spend 28 months in jail and pay $1.1 million in fines.
Darryl Strawberry was a star baseball player for the New York Mets. However, in 1994, Darryl and his agent were charged with tax evasion. It was alleged that he had failed to report over $500,000 in earnings to the IRS between 1986 and 1990. Strawberry pleaded guilty and served 3 months in prison, followed by 3 months of house arrest.
Fat Joe is a famous rapper from New York City. His real name is Joseph Cartagena. In 2012, Cartagena confessed to not filing his income taxes on over $3 million in earnings. He was faced with a prison sentence and more than $718,000 in back taxes for his actions.
Joe Francis, founder of “Girls Gone Wild,” pleaded guilty to falsifying his tax returns in 2009. He failed to report $500,000 of interest income and had to pay costly fines for his actions. In addition to paying $250,000 to the IRS, he also faced a prison sentence and one year of probation.
Lauryn Hill is an accomplished singer and songwriter from New Jersey. In 2013, she was sentenced to 3 months in prison for non-payment of approximately $1.8 million in taxes between 2005 and 2007. Again, in 2016, she was rumored to be facing tax issues but publicly stated that she was still working to resolve her prior tax debts.
Richard Hatch was the winner of the first-ever season of the reality television series “Survivor” in 2001. He earned a prize of $1 million but failed to report the earnings to the IRS. Accordingly, he was ordered to spend 51 months in jail and refile his taxes. He was released from prison in 2009. However, he failed to repay his debt. Therefore, in 2011, he was arrested again and ordered to spend another 9 months in prison.
Iconic rock star Chuck Berry was found guilty of evading his tax obligations in 1979. He served 120 days in jail and 4 years of probation for his actions. Additionally, he had to perform at least 1,000 hours of community service.
Italian actress Sophia Loren served part of a 30-day prison sentence for tax evasion in 1982. She alleged that the error occurred because of an oversight by her former tax preparer. Errors made by accountants and tax preparers can lead to serious problems for taxpayers.
Connect with our experienced Dual Licensed Criminal Tax Defense Attorneys and CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing by dialing (800) 681-1295 or schedule a reduced rate initial consultation online here.
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