Earlier this year, we brought you a blog detailing the story of a celebrity that had found himself in trouble with the IRS. In February, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino pleaded guilty to a single count of tax evasion before District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton in a Newark, New Jersey federal court. His brother, Marc Sorrentino, also pleaded guilty to tax charges, as well. Michael and Marc Sorrentino were recently sentenced and received eight and 24 months in a federal prison, respectively.
According to court documents and a Department of Justice press release, Mike Sorrentino earned substantial amounts of income in 2011 that stemmed from his fame from the television reality show Jersey Shore. Prosecutors alleged that The Situation made several attempts to conceal his true income, including making bank deposits in increments of less than $10,000 in order to avoid the bank needing to report such deposits to federal authorities. The underreporting of income and steps to conceal cash-based income resulted in the underreporting of income and the underpayment of income tax.
Marc Sorrentino also took steps to illegally lower his tax liability. According to court documents, Marc lied to the professionals that were assisting in his tax preparation in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He provided his accountants with false information, indicating that he earned much less income than he actually did, which resulted in less taxable income, and in turn, less taxes paid in connection with his personal income tax return.
In addition to the Sorrentino brothers’ incarceration in a federal prison, they will each serve a term of supervised release and will be required to pay restitution to the IRS. The Situation’s restitution due to the IRS was set at just under $125,000, which is relatively low compared to many of the tax evasion cases that we detail in our blog, but the IRS wanted to send a message: tax evasion is illegal regardless of the amount of taxes being evaded. Michael and Marc Sorrentino were not cheating the IRS out of hundreds of millions of dollars, but the dollar value is beside the point. The IRS and Department of Justice will crack down on those taxpayers that are identified as cheating the tax system.
This story should cause taxpayers who are currently engaged in activity that may run afoul of tax laws or are currently under audit to pause. Enlisting the assistance of an experienced tax attorney is likely the most critical step that can be taken to get back on the right track, with regard to tax compliance. Whether your past tax filings may be incorrect or whether you are under IRS or state tax audit, a tax defense attorney can work with you and ensure that you are receiving fair treatment by authorities.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in representing taxpayers in a variety of tax disputes. No matter your walk of life or the specific tax predicament that you are facing, our team of zealous advocates will work with you to develop and implement a strategy to help protect you, your family, and your assets. Do not let the stress of an IRS audit or criminal investigation keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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