No one is happy about having to pay taxes. However, data collected in a recent survey poll suggests that Americans are so disillusioned with the tax system that they are inclined to believe that underreporting their taxes is fair game. This is particularly common amongst the middle class, college graduates, and millennials.
While these individuals may view their tax obligations this way, the IRS does not. Any deliberate attempt to improperly file false information with the federal government is a serious tax crime punishable by hefty fines or even jail time. Even if you have gotten away with such practices in the past, all it takes is one mistake for the federal government to pry into your history through tax audits and criminal tax investigations.
If you are at all concerned about how the government may interpret your past or current filings, the time is now to get help. When you contact the Dual Licensed Tax Lawyers and CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, you can get started with a first-time case evaluation for a reduced initial rate. Reach out to our offices at (800) 681-1295 or schedule here online for more information.
A new Harris Poll survey on the topic of taxation has produced results that show citizens that are cynical and distrustful of federal government tax efforts, both when it comes to how taxes are collected and the government spending that tax money supports. This raises questions about Americans’ willingness to fudge information on returns and reduce their tax liability.
Taxes have been an issue of civil rebellion since before the union even existed. This unrest exists even to this day. The study suggests that roughly 57% of U.S. adults believe that they are faced with unfairly high tax rates.
Certain demographics show more resentment about their tax liability. Nearly 80% of men ages 45 to 54 surveyed in the poll felt they were overtaxed. Anyone with a household income of $75,000 to $99,900 and college graduates were statistically more likely to feel overtaxed than other groups.
This is nothing compared to Americans’ feelings on how their tax dollars are spent. Roughly three out of every four participants surveyed voiced disagreement with the actions that the government takes with tax revenue. This is not surprising, given the wide range of government programs that receive tax revenue funding. It is certainly possible for everyone to find something that they disagree with if they look hard enough. But the significance of these poll results is how evident it is that the general public has a distaste for how their money is used when it is taken out of their pockets.
Those surveyed also expressed their feelings on who they believe is responsible for the majority of tax evasion. More than half of those surveyed responded that they felt businesses and high-income individuals are more likely to cheat on tax returns than the lower and middle classes. However, according to the IRS’s own numbers, nearly 75% of identified tax evaders are individuals, primarily in the middle-income brackets.
After seeing the results discussed above, it should come as no surprise that many Americans have a cynical view about what constitutes a tax crime. More than a third of respondents did not see a deliberate misreporting of income as tax evasion.
Over half of respondents said that they didn’t see a difference between willfully underreporting income on a tax return and using valid legal loopholes to lessen their tax liability. Among that group, almost half incorrectly believed that willful underreporting was not tax evasion. The majority of millennials (ages 26 to 41, for the purposes of the poll) felt that intentional misrepresentations of personal finances to lower their tax liability was not a criminal act.
Though millennials’ reputation for being actively progressive, their views on taxes skew in the opposite direction. Millennials are the second-most likely group of those surveyed to believe themselves to be overtaxed, the biggest fans of loopholes and tax evasion, and the only generation in which a majority say that they should not have to pay taxes to support resources in their community.
Regardless of whether you view tax evasion in a favorable light or not, the IRS views it as a crime. There is no doubt that questionable government practices have sown the seeds of cynicism and resentment among the taxpaying public, but that will not prevent the IRS from investigating noncompliance and prosecuting evaders. With so many apparently unclear about the ramifications of deliberate misstatements to the federal government, it is clear that a large number of taxpayers are in need of serious and immediate assistance in coming into compliance.
If you made mistakes on your past federal tax filings or misrepresented your taxable income, it may not be too late to take action that can protect you in the long run. The federal government does provide motivation for certain taxpayers with histories of noncompliance to come forward on their own through a process called voluntary disclosure.
In some cases, voluntary disclosure can lead to a reduction in penalties or charges and all but guarantee a pass on criminal prosecution for past mistakes. However, the disclosure must be made in a timely manner (i.e., before the government becomes aware of the situation on their own) and will only provide relief for some types of tax charges. You should never attempt voluntary disclosure without the help of a seasoned Tax Attorney and CPA.
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 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!
When you call the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing at (800) 681-1295, you can get a reduced rate initial case assessment from our experienced Dual Licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs today. You can also schedule here online