It depends. It is a crime, tax evasion, to willfully attempt to evade the assessment or payment of a tax. I.R.C. Section 7201. Case law has explained that it is a crime when someone opens two bank accounts using false social security numbers, and transfers funds into those accounts after learning that the IRS was attempting to levy on his other account (at a different bank). The Ninth Circuit, which is binding law for most California lower courts, calls this felony tax evasion because the taxpayer’s conduct could have misled the IRS and thwarted the government’s collection of tax, in violation of Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code. U.S. v. Carlson, 235 F.3d 466, 469 (9th Cir. 2000). Thus, the answer to the question whether your concealing a bank account results in tax evasion turns on whether the government can prove you willfully attempted to defeat a tax or its payment.
Is it illegal to conceal bank accounts from the IRS? was last modified: May 18th, 2016 by David Klasing