According to a Department of Justice press release, an attorney and his client were recently convicted by a federal jury sitting in Texas on multiple tax-related counts. This story illustrates how a taxpayer (and even their attorney) can make matters much worse in an attempt to avoid paying an established tax liability to the IRS. If you owe a large sum to the IRS or state taxing authorities, or have taken unsupportable tax positions that could result in substantial tax liability, and possibly result in criminal tax exposure, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax attorney as soon as possible.
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Prosecutors alleged that John Green, a Texas Attorney and Thomas Selgas, his client, worked in tandem in an attempt to prevent the IRS from collecting a $1.1 million outstanding tax debt owed by Selgas. As a part of the scheme, Green allowed Selgas to hide his funds in Green’s Lawyers Trust Account, an account that attorneys use to hold clients’ funds.
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Selgas deposited funds into Green’s trust account instead of his own bank. Green proceeded to pay Selgas’ personal expenses, such as credit card bills and other invoices. The strategy established by Green and Selgas was a long-term arrangement, as prosecutors alleged that the arrangement had lasted 10 years, between 2007 and 2017. Both Green and Selgas were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States. It is important to note here that Tax Evasion is basically two different crimes; evasion of assessment and evasion of payment.
Additionally, the pair worked together to file fraudulent tax returns for a partnership co-owned by Selgas by omitting significant amounts of partnership income. As a result, Selgas was also convicted of tax evasion. Sentencing was scheduled for later this year.
Working with an attorney, whether or not the matter is related to tax, should never result in additional criminal tax exposure. The story above is an example of an attorney who assisted a client continue to break the law. An effective tax attorney will work with you to help resolve the issues instead of exacerbating them. There are various legal and ethical strategies that you and your tax counsel can explore and employ to make the payment or elimination of a tax debt work for you and the IRS or state taxing authorities.
Contact an Experienced Tax Attorney Today
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax examination or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.
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