Orange County Income Tax Evasion Lawyer
The IRS and Department of Justice take extremely aggressive measures where income tax evasion is suspected. If you are being charged or investigated for attempting to defeat or evade your income tax payment or assessment, you could be facing a felony criminal record, tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, and years in prison. With so much at stake, you need professional support and aggressive legal representation on your side. At The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, have an Orange County income tax evasion lawyer that has more than 20 years of experience represent you, and offer you the combined legal and financial acumen of tax attorneys and accountants. To schedule a confidential case evaluation, call our law offices at (800) 681-1295 today.
When Can You Be Charged with Tax Evasion?
In order to understand the grounds for tax evasion charges, you need to understand how the offense is defined. Also referred to as “attempt to evade or defeat tax,” income tax evasion essentially means that a defendant took deliberate actions to try and avoid paying his or her full tax obligations. However, in accordance with Section 7201 of the Internal Revenue Code, there are actually two subcategories of income tax evasion:
- Willful attempts to defeat or evade tax assessment. The IRS reports that in many cases, the taxpayer will either file a false return which contains inaccurate information, or will falsely claim deductions which are not actually applicable. This is not the same as an attempt to avoid paying the tax — it’s an attempt to prevent tax obligations from being accurately assessed in the first place.
- Willful attempts to defeat or evade tax payment. In contrast to evading assessment, evading tax payment means that while taxpayer’s obligations have already been established, he or she avoids actually paying those obligations by concealing their assets or accounts.
While these two subcategories have subtle differences, you may have noticed that both contain the term “willful.” This is very important, because in order to prove that a defendant evaded or attempted to evade tax obligations, there are three critical components which must be established. As the Criminal Tax Manual states, “To establish the offense of attempting to evade and defeat a tax, the government is required to prove
beyond a reasonable doubt the following three elements.” These three elements are that:
- The defendant owed a “substantial income tax” in addition to that which was actually declared on his or her income tax return.
- The defendant “made an affirmative attempt” to evade or defeat assessment or payment of tax.
- The defendant’s actions were “willful,” i.e. deliberate. The IRS states that any “voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty” is sufficient to fulfill the willfulness requirement.
Fortunately for defendants, the burden of proof falls upon the prosecution in these sorts of cases. Defendants are not required to call upon witnesses, or to provide any evidence of their own.
What Are the Penalties for Evading Tax Payment or Assessment?
It’s important to understand that income tax evasion charges are extremely serious, and should absolutely never be ignored. If you are facing these charges, or if you have concerns about the results of an IRS tax audit or IRS criminal investigation, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced tax attorney right away. Evading or attempting to evade tax obligations is a felony. Pursuant to 26 U.S. Code § 7201:
Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution.
Keep in mind that the above penalties pertain only to criminal charges, and even the civil consequences can be very harsh. Civil consequences can include a massive 75% penalty on any assessed income tax, plus interest on the penalty. Furthermore, while the criminal penalties are restricted to the five-year statute of limitations, civil penalties are not bound to any time limit.
If you are being criminally charged or investigated, or if you have questions or concerns about complying with federal laws, the experienced Orange County income tax evasion lawyer at The Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing can help. To arrange for a private legal consultation, call our law offices right away at (800) 681-1295.