A recently released Department of Justice press release revealed that several residents of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina were recently indicted for allegedly perpetrating a tax fraud scheme aimed at generating fraudulent tax refunds. This story should serve as a reminder to taxpayers that although owning a home or a business does entitle you to certain tax breaks, you should consult with an experienced tax planning attorney to confirm the legality of claiming large tax benefits, especially when they pertain to property or a business. If you have filed a tax return claiming a benefit that you believe or know to be fraudulent, or if you are seeking to legally minimize your tax liabilities, you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney to discuss your options.
According to court records, Iran Backstrom of Milledgeville, Georgia; Mehef Bey of Charlotte, North Carolina; Yomarie Febres of Atlanta, Georgia; and Aaron Aqueron of Clermont, Florida, allegedly worked together to promote a tax scheme across 12 states. Federal prosecutors allege that the group targeted clients with a mortgage or other debt and claimed that such debt entitled them to receive large tax refunds. In actuality, the group filed false tax returns in the names of their clients claiming large amounts of taxes had been withheld and remitted to the IRS, resulting in fraudulent refunds of the fictional withholding. In exchange for their “services”, the indicted group charged clients fees between $10,000 and $15,000.
The defendants face criminal charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud the United States, to aiding in the preparation of false tax returns, as well as obstructing the IRS. Federal prosecutors and the IRS allege that the group caused more than $40 million in fraudulent refund claims to be filed. Each defendant faces substantial prison time, supervised release, and may be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS.
Every taxpayer that utilized their services at best is facing an income tax audit, at worst could face criminal prosecution for tax crimes and conspiracy as well. In the event of an IRS audit, eggshell audit, reverse egg shell audit or criminal tax investigation the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has the experience and success rate that can make all the difference between just being liable for the tax you should have paid in the first place versus facing civil fraud or criminal tax prosecution.
Although most Americans are not engaged in criminal tax conspiracies against the IRS like the defendants discussed above are alleged to have engaged in, the overall takeaway is that the IRS and Department of Justice does not take tax fraud, tax evasion, or willfully failing to file tax returns lightly. The IRS recently announced that it loses over $1 trillion per year to tax evaders and that it would be ramping up its civil and criminal tax enforcement efforts. Additionally, there recently appears to be bipartisan support to increasing IRS funding, which would result in more IRS agents and more tax audits and criminal tax investigations.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have filed a tax return with knowingly false information, you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney at once to get right with the government. Together, you will work with your seasoned tax lawyer to establish the pertinent facts of your case and determine the best go-forward strategy to minimize, and even illuminate, potential civil fraud and criminal tax exposures. While you are being represented by a tax defense attorney, you will not have to go up against the IRS or state taxing authorities 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 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.
In addition to our main office in Irvine, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad and Sacramento. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff are working from home, but have full virtual meeting capability.
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