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According to a Department of Justice press release, a Honey Grove, Texas woman was recently sentenced to serve a substantial prison term resulting from a tax fraud scheme. This story should serve as a reminder to taxpayers that cheating on your taxes is not a victimless crime. As such, the IRS and Department of Justice do not take tax fraud or tax evasion cases lightly. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or consistently cheat on your returns, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney today to come into tax compliance. Most compliance problems, even outright tax fraud, can be fixed without the risk of criminal prosecution if you reach out to the IRS before they choose to reach out to you via an audit or IRS criminal tax investigation!
Court records indicate that Kristi Michelle Finney pleaded guilty last summer to five counts of tax fraud. Last week, she was sentenced to serve 33 months in federal prison. Finney’s criminal charges stemmed from her preparation of tax returns for hundreds of individuals. Finney’s operation, run out of her home, involved her significantly inflating losses and other items that would result in fraudulent tax refunds. Additionally, Finney understated income that would have otherwise been subject to tax.
Finney caused federal refunds to be split between her and her clients. Such funds were placed onto prepaid debit cards. To cover up her illegal activity, Finney completed her clients’ tax returns in a manner that indicated the returns were actually prepared by the client themselves. Finney was caught through the tracking of her network’s IP address. Government officials estimate that Finney caused a loss to the government of more than $359,000 as was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS.
For most Americans, correcting past mistakes, whether they were intentional or unintentional, may seem to be like a daunting and dangerous task. There are several methods that a taxpayer can correct a return with incorrect and even fraudulent information. An experienced tax defense attorney is the best resource to help you determine which method best suits your particular needs.
In nearly every situation, correcting a past inadvertent mistake or intentional misstatement on a tax return or filing a tax return that had gone unfiled for one or more years will yield a better result than waiting for the IRS to contact you. Not only does proactively correcting a mistake or intentional misstatement on your taxes mitigate future civil and criminal tax penalties and interest liabilities, it also shows a good-faith effort that you are attempting to comply with the tax laws and are not seeking to cover the activity up which can actually enhance your reputation with the taxing authorities going forward.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed returns coupled with affirmative evasion of payment) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosure before the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax investigation/prosecution, the taxpayer can ordinarily be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously often receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply.
It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from being potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended, in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.
Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime in itself). Only an Attorney trained in Criminal Tax Defense fully understands the risks and rewards involved in voluntary disclosures and how to protect you if you do not qualify for a voluntary disclosure.
As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, Kovel CPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and your net worth. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!
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Regardless of your particular business or estate needs, the professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are here for you. We are open for business and our team will help ensure that your business is too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.
In addition to our main office in Irvine, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad and Sacramento. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff are working from home, but have full virtual meeting capability.
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