According to a Department of Justice press release, a Florida businessman recently pleaded guilty to tax conspiracy charges relating to a scheme to swindle the IRS out of more than $800,000. This story should serve as a reminder to those who have intentionally prepared false tax returns or provided false information to tax preparers to illegally lower a tax liability. 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 audit or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to discuss your options to come into tax compliance.
We first brought you this story earlier this year where we introduced our readers to a business owner in Florida who found himself smack-dab in the middle of a criminal tax investigation. Recently, the defendant in the case pleaded guilty to defrauding the government. His guilty plea tees up a lengthy federal prison sentence.
As we reported in our previous blog posting, Eira Luces-Parra and Marco Parra were the owners and operators of Road Tire Plus Corporation. The married couple operated their business in Miami. Prosecutors alleged that between 2013 and 2016, the Parras conspired with other individuals to illegally avoid paying federal excise tax on the sale of tires.
Under federal law, any truck tire that is marked for use on a highway is subject to federal excise taxes. The importer of the tire is responsible for the excise tax upon sale. Generally, importers recuperate their excise tax cost by passing it on to the retailer, who passes it on to the customer. An exception to the excise tax rules exists when a tire is imported into the United States, but subsequently sold to a buyer outside of the country.
Prosecutors allege that the Parras collected excise taxes from a portion of the retailers that they sold to but failed to remit such taxes to the government. Additionally, the Parras allegedly failed to collect excise taxes from another group of retailers that they sold to, and instead, worked with co-conspirators to generate false bills of lading, purporting that the tires were exported and thus, no excise taxes were due.
Parra will be sentenced early next year and faces up to five years in federal prison. Additionally, he will likely be ordered to serve a term of supervised release upon the completion of any physical incarceration. Lastly, Parra will likely be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS representing the tax loss that he caused.
Although this story particularly deals with excise tax, the general theme remains. If you have arranged your affairs in a way that aims to deceive federal or state tax authorities or have lied on your filed tax returns, a criminal tax investigation and prosecution could very well be in your future. As the defendant in this story has learned, the IRS and Department of Justice are not concerned about your age, wealth, or status when they decide who to audit, criminally investigate and prosecute.
Taxpayers who have failed to file a tax return or who have taken a position that could not be supported if challenged by the IRS or state tax authorities should strongly consider seeking the assistance of an experienced tax defense attorney. Having a seasoned tax lawyer by your side means having a teammate to help evaluate your options to come into compliance and effectively remove the risk of criminal tax prosecution, even where you willfully committed income tax evasion and most importantly, never having to go up against the IRS alone
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!
Regardless of your personal, 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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