According to a Department of Justice press release, a former county commissioner pleaded guilty recently on charges related to failing to file tax returns and lying on the tax returns that he did file. This story is a reminder to taxpayers who believe that they can fly under the radar of the IRS that that tax noncompliance will catch up to you, and if the IRS discovers the noncompliance first, resolution may become more complicated. If you have not filed your tax returns for one or more years or believe that the tax returns that you filed may be incorrect, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible.
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Court documents reveal that Everette Witherspoon Jr. was the owner and operator of Quick Taxes, LLC, as well as Fast Tax, Inc., tax preparation businesses that served clients in North Carolina. Witherspoon also served as the managing member of a mental health services company. Finally, Witherspoon served as the Forsyth County Commissioner.
For a three-year period beginning in 2013, Witherspoon admitted to intentionally failing to include the wages that he was paid for serving as County Commissioner on his individual income tax returns. Additionally, Witherspoon admitted that he failed to include all of the income that he earned from the mental health services company that he supervised. Finally, Witherspoon acknowledged that he failed to file an individual tax return for the tax year 2012.
Sentencing is scheduled for later this year. Witherspoon faces up to one year in prison for failing to file a tax return and up to three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. Witherspoon will also likely be required to serve a sentence of supervised release upon the completion of any prison sentence that is ordered. Finally, Witherspoon will likely be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the tax loss to the government.
As we mentioned above, this story is illustrative of what can happen to a taxpayer who fails to file a tax return and/or lies on a tax return to decrease the tax due. Although making mistakes on a tax return is not uncommon, the taxpayer’s response once they realize that they have made a mistake is key. Consulting with an experienced tax attorney to determine the best way to move into compliance should be any such taxpayer’s first step.
A tax defense attorney who has experience representing taxpayers in disputes with the IRS and state tax officials will help you develop and implement a strategy that will get you into compliance and minimize potential collateral exposures, such as excessive penalties or jail time. But time is of the essence. If the IRS or state taxing authorities discover your tax noncompliance before you rectify the situation proactively, some of the benefits of coming forward first may be in jeopardy. Whether you are looking to come into compliance before the IRS discovers your omissions or whether the IRS has already indicated that they will be examining your turn, an experienced tax defense attorney should be the first stop on your journey to becoming tax compliant.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes 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 prosecution, the taxpayer can be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. 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. 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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