Santa Rosa Real Estate Salesman Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Tax Returns
According to a Department of Justice press release, Charles T. Woods, a real estate salesman from Santa Rosa, California was sentenced to serve 24 months in a federal prison. Woods was convicted of filing a false tax return by a federal court in the Northern District of California, earlier this year.
According to court documents, prosecutors alleged that Woods falsified his personal tax returns for tax years 2012 through 2014. Although Woods was employed as a real estate professional, he also received substantial profit from a marijuana business during the tax years in question. During that time, Woods deposited more than $1 million into over 25 bank accounts that he controlled. When it came time to file his tax returns, Woods provided his tax preparers with incomplete information, which in turn, caused him to dramatically underreport his income on his personal tax returns.
The government estimated that the tax loss associated with Woods’ criminal behavior was over $450,000. In addition to serving two years in prison, Woods was sentenced to serve one year of supervised release. Finally, Woods was ordered to pay $466,707 in the form of restitution to the IRS.
A common misconception among taxpayers is that the tax preparer bears the burden for incomplete or incorrect tax filings. That simply isn’t the case. Generally, the taxpayer, whether they have their tax return prepared by a professional or prepare it themselves, is responsible for the actual tax due. Therefore, if a taxpayer provides incorrect information (whether it is unintentional or intentional, as in the case of Mr. Woods), and the return is prepared using that incorrect information, the IRS will go after the taxpayer for the taxes actually owed.
With tax season quickly approaching, taxpayers should consider tax positions that are less than certain. Consulting with an experienced tax attorney about a filing position may put your mind at ease and may alleviate headaches if the IRS were to challenge the position after the return has been filed.
If you have already filed your taxes and you have been notified that your return is either under examination or an investigation has been initiated, you should consult with a tax defense attorney as soon as possible. A tax attorney has the technical tax knowledge needed to develop an effective strategy when dealing with the IRS or state taxing authorities, as well as the legal education needed to protect your rights during the audit and/or investigatory process.
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The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in representing taxpayers who are facing a tax audit or investigation by the IRS or state taxing authorities. No matter the issue, our team is ready to zealously advocate for your best interests. Do not let the threat of severe financial repercussions or criminal prosecution for tax-related crimes keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today online or by phone at 800-681-1295.
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