Colorado Man Convicted of Tax Evasion After Denying He Was Subject to U.S. Tax

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Colorado Man Convicted of Tax Evasion After Denying He Was Subject to U.S. Tax

criminal tax evasion
According to a Department of Justice press release, a Colorado man labeled as a “tax defier” was convicted of tax evasion, last week. Although some of the facts in this story seem farfetched and inapplicable to most Americans, it is important to remind taxpayers the consequences that they face if they fail to timely file tax returns or pay federal or state income tax. A good faith belief that the tax laws are unconstitutional does not negate willfulness.

Man Intentionally Failed to File Return or Pay Taxes, Faces Federal Prison Sentence

After a five-day trial, a federal jury sitting in Denver, Colorado convicted Lawrence Martin Birk of tax evasion. According to prosecutors at trial, Birk owned and operated Tarryall River Log Homes LLC, a builder and seller of custom log homes. Since he started the company in 2000, Birk failed to voluntarily pay federal income taxes.
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After realizing the Birk was not filing tax returns or paying any tax, the IRS began collection efforts. Those efforts included an in-person visit to his home, after which, Birk hired a tax firm to prepare the tax returns that he had not previously filed. Prosecutors produced evidence at trial that although Birk caused tax returns to be prepared, he failed to include items of income, such as $400,000 of retirement distributions that he had routed through a fake company.

Defendant’s Continuous Attempts to Avoid Paying Tax Led to Charges

Even after failing to prepare his tax returns with the correct information, he failed to pay the amounts he admitted he owed on the face of the tax returns. Instead, prosecutors produced evidence that Birk sent angry correspondence to the IRS accompanied with tax arguments promoted by “tax defier” organizations. Such organizations generally take the position that its followers are not subject to federal and state tax for a myriad of reasons, including because they are not subject to the laws of the United States.
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After the IRS notified Birk that the federal government would levy his bank accounts; he made efforts to thwart seizure attempts. Birk’s efforts involved converting his bank account balances into cashier’s checks as soon as monies were deposited into his account.
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The IRS estimates that the tax loss related to Birk’s actions is well over $2 million. Birk will be sentenced later this year and will likely be spending some time in a federal prison, as well as be ordered to serve a term of supervised release and pay restitution to the IRS.

Although the vast majority of Americans do not buy into the “tax denier” arguments, there are still hundreds of thousands of Americans that do not file their taxes each year. Much like failing to get an oil change on a regular basis, this practice is one that will create big problems in the future. IRS and state tax technology has improved significantly over the past decade, increasing the government’s ability to detect when tax returns have not been filed and taxes have not been paid.

Consulting with An Experienced Tax Defense Attorney Before the IRS Investigates You

If you have delinquent tax returns or have not been paying your tax debt, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible. Those with unfiled tax returns or unpaid tax debt generally feel overwhelmed and although they want to get right with the IRS, they simply do not know where to begin. Luckily for taxpayers, the IRS recognizes that noncompliance isn’t as uncommon as many may believe it to be, and have set up programs to come into compliance. When you meet with your tax attorney, you will go over your particular circumstances and jointly decide which program, if any, is right for you.

Contact an Experienced Tax Attorney Today

The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing taxpayers from all walks of life. Whether you are a business owner facing a sales and use tax audit or you have received notice that your individual return is being examined, our team of zealous advocates are standing by to help you develop a sound legal strategy that will keep your personal and financial interests at the forefront of importance. Do not lose sleep over the possibility of tax evasion or other tax-related charges from the IRS or state taxing authorities. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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