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North Carolina Pair Sentenced to Prison For Tax Crimes

According to a Department of Justice press release, two individuals from North Carolina were recently sentenced to prison after being convicted of engaging in a tax scheme. This story should serve as a reminder that the IRS and Department of Justice take filing timely and accurate tax returns extremely seriously. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported upon audit, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine the best way to bring you into tax compliance.

Defendants Attempted to Illegally Obtain Tax Refunds

Sandra Denise Curl of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Percy Leroy Jacobs of Prince Frederick, Maryland, were sentenced to 30 months in prison for working together to defraud the United States, aiding in the preparation of false tax returns, and stealing government funds. Over a period of three years, from 2013 to 2016, the two filed estate and trust tax returns (Forms 1041) on behalf of fraudulent trusts they owned, attempting to claim refunds that they were not entitled to. Additionally, Curl and Jacobs filed personal tax returns that were falsified, claiming tax withholdings that did not exist to generate refunds. Their fraudulent activities totaled over $2.2 million in attempted theft from the IRS.

In addition to serving prison time, both defendants will also have to pay $959,044 in restitution to the United States and serve three years of supervised release. The sentencing was handed down by U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel, who found the defendants' actions to be a severe breach of the law. This case serves as an example of the consequences of committing tax fraud, which can result in severe financial penalties, imprisonment, and damage to one's reputation.

Coming Into Compliance with the Help of a Tax Attorney

It is important to remember that the IRS takes tax fraud seriously and has a variety of tools at its disposal to investigate and prosecute those who commit such crimes. Taxpayers should always be careful to file accurate and truthful tax returns, as well as report all of their income and pay the appropriate amount of tax. If you are facing a tax issue, it is recommended that you consult with a seasoned tax attorney who can advise you on the best course of action to take to resolve the matter and avoid any legal consequences.

If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported upon an IRS or state tax authority audit, eggshell audit, reverse eggshell audit, or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your best route back into federal or state tax compliance without facing criminal prosecution.

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 disclosure before 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!

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