A Las Vegas real estate broker is quickly realizing that avoiding a tax prosecution and a hefty prison sentence is not quite as easy as he may have thought. A common misconception among taxpayers is that the IRS and Department of Justice only pursue “big fish” or celebrities when enforcing the nation’s tax laws. That couldn’t be any more untrue. The entire population subject to tax is susceptible to strict enforcement of state and federal civil and criminal tax laws. If you have fallen behind on your tax filings or payments, or believe that you are otherwise out of compliance, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to discuss your options to get right with the federal or state government.
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According to a Department of Justice press release, William Waller, a real estate professional and owner of multiple businesses in the Las Vegas area, was sentenced to serve six and a half years in a federal prison after being convicted by a federal jury on charges of tax evasion and the willful failure to file a tax return.
Prosecutors established at trial that Waller failed to file several years worth of individual federal income tax returns. At trial, prosecutors from the Department of Justice presented evidence to prove that Waller took various steps in an attempt to evade the payment of his federal income taxes and to reduce the appearance that he had substantial assets. Waller established a shell entity, a company that did not actually serve a business purpose other than to conceal Waller’s assets. Waller opened up bank accounts in the name of his shell company and redirected his income to the shell-owned bank account rather than to his own.
In further attempts to conceal his true worth and assets, Waller used cash whenever possible, as to not create a paper trail or record of his expenditures. Finally, Waller took steps to draw down the equity in his home in an attempt to make the asset look less desirable to the IRS. Prosecutors were successful in proving that Waller’s attempts to conceal his true assets and his attempt to thwart IRS collection efforts amounted to tax evasion. The IRS estimated that Waller’s failure to pay tax resulted in a tax loss of $1,459,535.
In addition to being sentenced to 78 months in federal prison, Waller was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his physical incarceration. In an attempt to make the IRS and the American people whole, Waller was ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution.
William Waller’s story, featured above, is a reminder to taxpayers that the IRS will work with the Department of Justice to prosecute those taxpayers who are willfully out of compliance with U.S. tax laws. With the development and continued improvement of powerful technology solutions, the IRS has the ability to scan over tax returns in the blink of an eye. When such tax return analyses identify certain “badges of fraud”, IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) will take over the inquiry. Once the CI becomes involved in a criminal tax investigation the investigated taxpayer has a 90% chance of being criminally convicted based on CI’s historical track record.
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When a taxpayer receives a notice that their tax return has been selected for examination, it is wise to seek the counsel of an experienced tax defense attorney especially where you cheated on the returns at issue (see the video below to fully understand why). Many taxpayers mistakenly believe that they are capable of going up against the IRS or state taxing authority alone, but that often proves to be a losing strategy. Worse yet, many taxpayer’s believe the original tax preparer is in the best position to protect them where in reality the preparer is going to be government witness number one if the case the audit turns criminal and moreover they face a conflict of interest with their own reputation, liberty and livelihood to protect overshadowing and consequently sabotaging the taxpayer’s needs for an effective defense.
A tax defense attorney has not only the experience, but also extensive training in technical tax laws and civil and criminal tax procedural rules that can prove to be an invaluable asset in your quest to resolve your tax situation civilly. Lastly, attorney client privilege is required to fully discuss issues where you may have criminal tax culpability without unwittingly turning your advocate into a potential witness against you. Note – a CPAs duty of confidentiality is ineffective to fend off a subpoena regarding most civil and criminal tax issues.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing taxpayers from all walks of life. Whether you are a business owner facing a sales and use tax audit or you have received notice that your individual return is being examined, our team of zealous advocates are standing by to help you develop a sound legal strategy that will keep your personal and financial interests at the forefront of importance. Do not lose sleep over the possibility of tax evasion or other tax-related criminal charges from the IRS or state taxing authorities. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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In addition to our staffed main offices 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.
Note: If you have concerns about the privacy of our initial or subsequent communication and are unable to easily travel to our Irvine / Orange County Main Office, consider scheduling a GoToMeeting to safely and securely establish an initial or maintain an existing attorney client relationship. With end-to-end encryption, strong passwords and top-rated reliability, no one is messing with your meeting. To schedule a reduced rate initial consultation via GoToMeeting follow this link. Call our office and request a GoToMeeting if you are an existing client. We are generally happy to travel to any of our appointment only satellite offices for a subsequent meeting in appropriate circumstances once a relationship is established via a signed engagement letter and the payment of an initial retainer or where enough retainer is available where a current client to cover the reasonable travel time and time required for the meeting.
Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company? Absolutely not! See our policies that address this issue here: