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Utah Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion After Attempting to Pass Phony Checks to the IRS

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    According to a Department of Justice press release, a Utah chiropractor was recently convicted for committing tax fraud and now faces a lengthy federal prison sentence. This story is an example of how taking matters into your own hands when you have a large debt can backfire. If you owe a substantial amount to the IRS in back taxes or have unfiled tax returns for several years, it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced dual licensed Tax Collections Attorney and CPA to discuss your options to efficiently settle your debt with the IRS or file any previously delinquent tax returns.

    Defendant Attempted to Extinguish Tax Debt with Checks Drawn on Closed Bank Accounts

    Court records reveal that Louis Hansen of Orem, Utah, was a chiropractor and owned a business focused on selling health care-related products. Prosecutors alleged that in March 2012, Hansen, who had amassed a large IRS tax debt, wrote a check, and sent it to the IRS in the amount of $342,699. The check was drawn on a bank account that was closed, so it is no surprise that when the IRS attempted to cash the check, it bounced. Instead of correcting the mistake and issuing the IRS a check drawing upon an open bank account, Hansen sent the IRS 10 more checks, each made out for $425,000 and drawing on closed bank accounts. To increase the likelihood of success of his scam, he sent checks to six different IRS offices.

    Most people equate income tax evasion to fraudulently understating your tax liability on tax returns. Evasion can involve the assessment of taxes and it can also involve the fraud in payment of tax as evidenced by this case.

    Hansen was charged and pleaded guilty to one count attempting to evade the payment of his federal income taxes and one count of corruptly endeavoring to impair the administration of the internal revenue laws. His sentencing has been scheduled for November and Hansen faces up to five years for the single tax evasion count and up to three years for the count related to corruptly impeding the IRS.

    Managing Your Tax Debt Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

    Many Americans owe back taxes to either the IRS or state taxing authorities. For some taxpayers, their tax debt is debilitatingly large. But as the defendant in the story found out, it is not effective to try to extinguish your tax debt by passing phony checks or other financial instruments to the IRS. There are a multitude of options and strategies that a taxpayer and their experienced tax collections attorney can employ to manage or reduce tax debt. Strategies range from establishing an installment plan with the IRS to reducing tax debt through an offer-in-compromise or even tax motivated bankruptcy where appropriate.

    If you have substantial tax debt, have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or have filed a tax return with misleading or fraudulent information, you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney. Together, you will work to gather the pertinent facts of your case and identify any civil or criminal exposures. Then, you will jointly determine the best strategy to bring you into tax compliance or efficiently manage your tax debt. With the help of a seasoned tax lawyer, you won’t have to stress about making a misstep or falling into a tax trap. Instead, you can focus on what is important to you.

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