According to a Department of Justice press release, an Aliquippa, Pennsylvania man was recently sentenced to serve 18 months in a federal prison for charges relating to tax evasion. This story acts as a proverbial sampler of illegal acts that the IRS and Department of Justice will criminally prosecute, if provoked to do so. If you have a tax situation with similar facts to this story, in whole or in part, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney for guidance.
Prosecutors from the Department of Justice presented evidence in court that proved that William Rains failed to file individual income tax returns for various years in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. All in all, Rains failed to file an individual tax return for 6 years between 1997 and 2006. Additionally, Rains filed false returns for tax years 2000 and 2001, when he reported that he had earned no income when he had indeed earned sufficient income to result in taxes payable. The IRS estimated that Rains owed the federal government over $200,000 in taxes for the years mentioned above, as well as tax owed in 2008.
As if failing to file tax returns and falsifying the returns that he did file weren’t enough, prosecutors from the Department of Justice also introduced evidenced that showed Rains’ deliberate attempts to evade the payment of taxes that he owed. Evidence produced at trial showed that from July of 2005 through the end of 2016, Rains intentionally evaded payment of his tax debt and made efforts to frustrate IRS collections by concealing income and most of his assets from the Service. Prosecutors showed that Rains achieved this by using multiple bank accounts, business entities, a nominee, and even falsified IRS financial forms. Finally, Rains instructed his wife to move monies into accounts that only she had control over and to cause the purchase of bank checks to prevent the Service from collection through a bank levy.
In addition to serving a year and a half in a federal prison, U.S. District Court Judge Donetta W. Ambrose, sitting in Pittsburgh, ordered Rains to serve three years of supervised release. Last but not least, Rains was ordered to pay $207,634 in restitution to the IRS.
Getting behind on tax filings or tax payments isn’t as uncommon as many Americans may think. That being said, the steps that you take once you have fallen off the wagon are what determine the actions that the IRS or the Department of Justice will take. Working with an experienced tax defense attorney, a taxpayer can analyze their options and develop a plan in moving forward. Although many taxpayers fall into the trap of trying to forget about their unfiled tax returns or outstanding tax bill, inaction can be extremely dangerous especially where coupled with any affirmative acts to deceive the IRS about it. If the IRS catches on that you have failed to file tax returns or have stopped paying for one tax year, they will look to other tax years to determine whether there is a pattern. If badges of fraud or tax evasion emerge, your case could be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal tax prosecution.
The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing taxpayers from all walks of life dealing with a wide array of different tax situations. Whether you are a business owner trying to navigate the complex sales and use tax laws or an individual that has just received notice that you are being audited by the IRS, our team of zealous advocates is standing by to assist in the development of a strategy focused on your financial and physical freedom. Do not let the threat of an IRS or state tax audit keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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