According to a Department Justice press release, a Florida man recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion after lying to the IRS for years about his ability to pay his outstanding tax liability. This story should serve as a reminder to taxpayers that even when your tax debt is established with the IRS, you can still be brought up on tax evasion charges for lying to the government about your income or assets. If you owe the IRS or a state tax authority and are unable to pay or have failed to file your tax return for one or more years, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible.
Court documents reveal that Douglas V. Oakes, a Florida businessman, recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion after he spent years lying to the IRS about his ability to pay his existing tax debt. From 2002 through 2005, Oakes racked up a hefty tax debt. When the IRS initiated collection efforts in 2015, Oakes took several steps to ensure that the IRS would not see much of that debt repaid. What is important here to realize is the evasion of payment is a felony.
IRS investigators found that Oakes told officials from the IRS that he had no annual income and virtually no assets. He was earning more than $400,000 per year and had substantial assets, including valuable real estate that he had placed in the name of nominees. Likewise, Oakes lied about rental income that he was receiving from an oceanfront beach house in Florida.
Upon the death of his adult daughter, he caused tax returns to be filed in her name that took into account the income that he had previously not reported earning himself. In reality, he earned more than $2 million in wages within that time period, which he spent primarily on luxury expenses such as credit card payments and luxury vehicles.
When Oakes is sentenced early next year, he faces up to five years in federal prison for the single count of tax evasion. Additionally, he will likely be ordered to serve a period of supervised release following a prison term. Finally, Oakes will likely be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the tax loss that he caused.
This story involves an individual who clearly owed a tax debt and lied to the IRS about his ability to pay that debt. If you owe money to the IRS or state taxing authority, fabricating a fictional scenario about an inability to pay is not a viable strategy. The potential consequences of being caught lying to a taxing authority are far worse than satisfying your tax debt.
If you owe money to the IRS or have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, you should contact an experienced tax relief and resolutions attorney. Working together, you and your tax lawyer will lay out the pertinent facts of your situation and determine the best way to move forward. If you do have a true inability to pay your tax debt, your tax attorney will work with the IRS to come to an amicable resolution that works for both you and the Service.
Regardless of your 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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