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Is it a crime to make false statements to the IRS?

Lying to a federal officer is a felony in its own right. Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 makes it a crime to: 1) knowingly and willfully; 2) make any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation; 3) in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States. Is a lie you told an IRS agent likely to land you in Jail? Possibly. It often depends upon whether you “attempted” to evade a tax. See IRC §7201. A number of courts have held that if a taxpayer makes false statements to a Treasury agent relating to the fraud in question it helps prove the “attempt” element of attempted tax evasion, which requires an “affirmative act” by the taxpayer. For example, the 11th Circuit explained that “an affirmative act constituting an evasion or attempted evasion of [a] tax occurs when false statements are made to the IRS after the tax was due, and an allegation to that effect satisfies the affirmative act element of the crime.” U.S. v. Winfield, 960 F.2d 970, 973 (11th Cir. 1992).