According to a Department of Justice press release, two Philadelphia residents were recently convicted on counts related to conspiring to defraud the United States and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. This story should serve as a reminder for taxpayers who have skipped filing a tax return or have been dishonest on a tax return that has been filed with the IRS that the federal government does not discriminate in who they choose to prosecute for federal tax crimes. Not only celebrities and political figures find themselves facing a federal prison sentence for cheating on their taxes. 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 audit, egg shell audit, reverse eggshell audit or criminal tax investigation it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your options to come into tax compliance.
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!
Court documents reveal that Yolonda Thompson, also known as Qhama Al, and Albert Upshur were convicted earlier this month at the conclusion of a federal bench trial. The defendants were accused of establishing a “Debt Payoff Program” whereby unknowing clients would pay a fee for the defendants to file tax returns on their behalf. In return, clients were promised the ability to draw from a trust account to pay off debts, such as mortgages. Federal investigators estimated that the defendants sought more than $300 million in fraudulent refunds as a part of the Debt Payoff Program Scheme. The alleged illegal activity spanned from 2010 through 2013. Federal authorities also alleged that the defendants continued their illegal behavior even after the IRS assessed civil penalties and informed them that they were under criminal investigation.
The defendants’ scheduling date has not yet been set. Each faces up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count and up to three years in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return count. Additionally, each defendant will likely be ordered to serve a period of supervised release, to commence upon the completion of any physical incarceration. Lastly, the defendants will likely be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS for the tax loss that was caused.
As we indicated at the outset, this story exemplifies the notion that anyone can be investigated and prosecuted for tax crimes. Although the defendants in this case were involved in untruthful activity and their scheme involved large sums of money, the IRS and Department of Justice do not only go after celebrities who have dodged their taxes. Everyday wage-earning Americans and business owners are often the targets of federal criminal tax investigations. Whether it be for failing to disclose a foreign bank account, failing to file a tax return, or over-deducting on business expenses, the IRS and Department of Justice will not hesitate to pursue serious civil and criminal sanctions for tax wrongdoing.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have filed a tax return with information that was false, you should consider contacting an experienced tax defense attorney to discuss your options. Together, you will determine the level of potential civil or criminal exposure. Then, you will jointly determine the best strategy to get you right with the government. While being represented by a seasoned tax lawyer, you won’t have to go up against the IRS or state tax authorities alone, leaving you more time to focus on what really matters.
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.
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