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Florida Restaurant Owners Under Investigation for Various Tax Crimes

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According to local media reports, a popular Florida seafood restaurant and its owners were recently the subjects of federal raids surrounding allegations of federal tax evasion. IRS investigators believe that the business’s owners have failed to pay the proper amount of corporate income tax, failed to pay individual income taxes, and failed to pay over amounts withheld from the paychecks of the restaurant’s employees. This is a reminder to all taxpayers who may be out of compliance that you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney to rectify tax issues before the IRS shows up at your business or home armed with weapons and a search warrant.  COVID-19 will not last forever and the IRS is eventually going to come a-knocking.

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Government Agents Raided Taxpayer’s Business and Home

Government investigators believe that David and Kellie Biegler, the owners and operators of Hurricane Oyster Bar and Grill, located on Florida’s Gulf coast, failed to pay personal, corporate, and payroll taxes for the past 10 years. With weapons and a search warrant in hand, multiple federal investigators nearly simultaneously stormed the restaurant and the Biegler home, removing countless boxes of potential evidence without warning.

According to documents obtained by local media, the IRS believes that more than $1.4 million of payroll taxes withheld from the paychecks of employees is missing. If charged and convicted, the couple could face decades in prison. Failure to file a tax return can result in up to a year in prison. Tax evasion, on the other hand, can carry up to five years in prison per count.

The Importance of Coming into Tax Compliance

The key takeaway from this story is the seriousness of an IRS criminal tax investigation. The couple being targeted by the IRS in the above story appears to have a sampling of each common type of tax evasion among business owners. The IRS takes the failure to file tax returns seriously, but it places a special level of importance on payroll tax compliance. Because most Americans pay the majority of their taxes through payroll tax withholding, the IRS views the function of withholding, accounting for, and paying over payroll taxes as one of the most critical aspects of tax compliance that a business is tasked with. Accordingly, the IRS will bring the hammer down on taxpayers who run businesses that make it a habit to intentionally violate payroll tax laws.

If you are a business owner and believe that you may be out of compliance with regard to income or payroll tax, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney today. As we indicated at the outset of this article, it is critical to strategically position yourself to come forward and take care of any tax noncompliance before IRS criminal investigators show up at your home or place of business armed with a search warrant. The government offers several methods to get back into compliance. An experienced tax lawyer will help you analyze your options, keeping your best interests in mind.

Note:  As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including payroll tax crimes in limited circumstances) 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 the 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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The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle-market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax examination or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.

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Regardless of your particular business 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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