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According to reports by local news media, an Idaho Falls, Idaho man has been charged with four counts by state prosecutors relating to fraudulent tax activity. Idaho prosecutors allege that between 2013 and 2016, Nicolas Ivie, 40, falsified his Forms W-2, resulting in a lower tax bill. If convicted, Ivie could spend life in a state prison and may be left owing thousands of dollars in back-taxes, penalties, and interest.
Investigators for the Idaho taxing authority say that Ivie correctly reported his yearly income, between $80,000 and $90,000 annually, but overstated the amount of state income taxes that were withheld by his employer. After investigating, authorities determined that Ivie’s employer withheld only approximately $1,500, but Ivie’s state tax return indicated that his employer withheld nearly $17,000. The state also discovered that at times, Ivie falsified Form W-4, indicating that he was exempt from paying income tax, resulting in his employer not withholding any income taxes for a period of time.
When Idaho taxing authorities contacted Ivie, he reportedly refused to return their calls or letters. When investigators visited him at his home, Ivie’s said that he needed to contact his lawyer before speaking with them. Although he was provided the investigator’s contact information, he or his attorney failed to respond. Ivie was charged with income tax evasion, perjury, using a computer to obtain money or services by fraudulent pretenses, and offering false or forged instrument for record.
There are several takeaways from Nicolas Ivie’s story, above. First, taxpayers should never alter their tax documentation after it is issued by an employer. Many taxpayers fail to realize that your employer sends local tax authorities copies of the tax documentation that they send to employees. The IRS and state taxing authorities have complex computer systems that compare employer-provided information to information that the taxpayer provides on the return. If there is a discrepancy, the system flags the return and it could be audited.
Second, taxpayers that are contacted by the IRS or state taxing authority should contact an experienced tax defense attorney rather than ignore the situation. In many cases, tax issues can be resolved without the need for investigators. Ignoring tax authorities gives them little choice but to pursue a criminal investigation. An experienced tax attorney has education in both taxation and law that can be drawn upon in tandem to protect your rights, financial health, and dignity.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in representing taxpayers from all walks of life dealing with a wide array of tax issues. From those under audit by tax authorities or taxpayers with undeclared foreign bank accounts, our zealous advocates are standing by to assist. Don’t let the fear of tax authorities keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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