Although filing individual tax returns on an annual basis is required by law, there will always be a tranche of those who do not. In an effort to reassure themselves of the consequences (or lack thereof, in their minds), they will often repeat the mantra that state and IRS taxing authorities only go after big fish and that they will simply fly under the radar. The story below provides an example of how blind justice is. If you have failed to file tax returns for one or more years, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible especially in light of the massive amount of Covid 19 aid the government will need to recoup.
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According to local media reports, two Utah residents were recently charged with tax evasion. Charges were filed against Rebecca Teece from South Jordan, Utah earlier this month. According to the Utah State Tax Commission, Teece has failed to file a tax return from 2008 until the present. In charging her with 12 counts of tax evasion and failure to file a tax return, state prosecutors estimate that Teece racked up a tax bill of $11,101 before interest and penalties during the time that she was out of compliance.
At the same time, state prosecutors filed tax evasion and failure to file charges against Wayne Rulon Bevan of Provo, Utah, after he failed to file tax returns between 2004 and the present. The Utah State Tax Commission estimates that Bevan amassed a tax delinquency of $13,525 before interest and penalties.
State prosecutors indicated that both Teece and Bevan received a multitude of notices about their outstanding tax liabilities, all of which were allegedly ignored. If convicted, Teece and Bevan each face 15 years in state prison.
The State of California and the IRS routinely bring similar criminal tax charges and the IRS will even ramp misdemeanor failure to file charges up to felony Spies Evasion charges if the badges of fraud are also present.
The above story should serve as a reminder to those who have failed to file tax returns for one or more years that federal and state taxing authorities will not hesitate to pursue criminal tax charges even when the amount of unpaid tax is relatively low. Both individuals who now face criminal charges detailed above had, on average, approximately $1,000 of tax liability per year that they did not file. Compared to many engaged in the practice of not filing tax returns, such tax liability is relatively miniscule. This is a clear indication that tax authorities, along with state and federal prosecutors will pursue any individual who has failed to live up to their tax compliance obligations.
If you are out of tax compliance because you either have not filed tax returns on a timely basis or you have engaged in other types of tax evasion, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney. The IRS and state tax authorities have established procedures whereby individuals and businesses alike can get right with the government. Additionally, your tax attorney will work with you to develop additional options to come into compliance while minimizing the potential negative consequences.
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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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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