According to a Department of Justice press release, an individual who was previously convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to federal prison before attempting to flee the country was sentenced to serve an additional 18 months in federal prison for failing to report to prison as required. This story evidences the need to seek competent legal counsel whenever dealing with state tax authorities, the IRS, or the Department of Justice. Whether you have failed to file tax returns for one or more years or have taken an unsupportable position on a previously-filed tax return, it is critical that you work with an experienced tax attorney to come into tax compliance before it is too late.
In February of 2014, Wilma Hau, 45, residing in Littleton, Colorado during litigation, was convicted on counts of making false and fraudulent claims to the government. She was sentenced by a U.S. District Court judge to serve a federal prison sentence for her role in a tax fraud scheme. As a part of their illegal fraudulent tax activities, Hau and her spouse Remigio Rafael Hau Chi, used stolen identities to file 138 false federal income tax returns. The fraudulent returns generated refunds of more than $430,000.
Hau was allowed to remain free on bond until she was to report to federal prison on March 27, 2014. But as that day came and went, the Federal Bureau of Prisons notified the court and law enforcement that she was on the run. Hau was apprehended on July 31, 2019 at the pedestrian entrance at the Paso del Norte Port of Entry in Texas. A federal judge ordered Hau to serve 18 months in federal prison for her flee attempt. That prison sentence will run concurrently with her original tax fraud sentence.
The key takeaway from the story above is the government’s unwavering commitment to investigate, prosecute, and apprehend those who violate U.S. tax laws. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or have taken a position on a tax return that cannot be supported, it is in your best interest to correct the mistake before the IRS initiates contact with you. One of the most effective ways to do that is to consult an experienced tax defense attorney.
Whether you are in need of fixing past tax misconduct or have received a notice from the IRS or state taxing authorities that you have been selected for audit, an experienced tax attorney will represent you every step of the way. After meeting with you and establishing all of the facts of your case, your tax attorney will present you with options as to best move forward, keeping your physical and financial freedom top of mind.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed returns coupled with affirmative evasion of payment) 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, Kovel CPAs 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!
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