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Two North Carolina tax professionals recently found themselves pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States after they were criminally charged following an IRS and Department of Justice investigation. The key takeaway from this story is that if you have taken steps to misrepresent the truth on your tax filings, serious consequences including prison time may result to both you and your preparer. If you have failed to file a tax return or have taken a position on a filed tax return that could not be supported upon audit or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine the best route to come back into compliance.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Karen Marie Jones and Audrey Renetta Odom owned and operated Jones and Stone Taxes. Investigators uncovered evidence that Jones and Odom charged clients upwards of $2,000 to prepare an individual tax return. In preparing such returns, Jones and Odom falsified items of income, deductions, and credits. Specifically, the pair claimed fraudulent credits related to education expenses.
Investigators estimated that Jones and Odom’s fraudulent return efforts resulted in more than $1.2 million of tax loss to the U.S. government. Sentencing has been scheduled for February of 2021. Both Jones and Odom face up to five years in prison. Additionally, the pair is expected to be sentenced to serve a period of supervised release following their physical incarceration. Finally, Jones and Odom will likely be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS.
Many taxpayers believe that their small mistruths on their tax returns will likely not be discovered by the IRS. Although there was once a time when the chances of tax fraud being detected were incredibly small, the government has implemented complex computer systems to statistically identify tax returns with apparent underreported income or overstated deductions. Likewise, the same technology can also identify taxpayers who have earned income but have not filed a tax return.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have understated income and/or overstated deductions, it may be in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine how you should come into compliance. As we indicated above, it is not a matter of if the IRS and their fraud detection software will discover your tax noncompliance, but when. Working with a dual licensed Tax Attorney & CPA, you will establish the pertinent facts of your case and mutually agree on the best option to get right with the government. One of the best benefits of Tax Attorney CPA representation is never needing to go up against the IRS or state taxing authority alone.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed foreign information returns coupled with affirmative evasion of U.S. income tax on offshore income) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosurebefore 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, KovelCPAs 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!
We also have lots of success with eggshell audits aimed at detecting skimming and defending IRS and California criminal tax investigations.
Regardless of your 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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