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Virginia Tax Preparer Arrested for Failing to File a Tax Return and Theft of Public Money

According to a Department of Justice press release, a Virginia tax preparer was recently arrested related to an indictment charging him with failing to file a tax return, assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, and theft of government funds. Facing substantial jail time, the story of this taxpayer’s indictment should serve as a reminder to the public that the enforcement arm of the IRS and their criminal investigation team is going strong. If you have failed to file a tax return or have otherwise not been compliant on the tax returns that you have filed, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney today to discuss your options to come into compliance.

Note:  As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes 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 prosecution, the taxpayer can be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply.  It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process.  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.   See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!

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Last week, Carl Burden, of Hampton, Virginia was arrested and awaits trial on multiple tax counts relating to his work as a tax preparer. A recently unsealed indictment indicates that Burden provided professional tax preparation services to clients in Hampton and in the surrounding areas between 2013 and 2019. Prosecutors allege that Burden obtained fraudulent refunds for his clients by claiming tax credits that weren’t qualified for, inflating deductions, and claiming non-existent dependents. Once the IRS paid out refunds, a portion was deposited into Burden’s bank account, according to investigators. On top of all of the above, Burden is accused of failing to file his own individual tax returns in the same seven-year period beginning in 2013.

If Burden is convicted, he faces one year in prison for each count of failing to file a tax return, three years for each count of assisting his clients to prepare a false tax return, and up to ten years for theft of public money. If convicted, he is also likely to be sentenced to an additional period of supervised release. Lastly, Burden could be ordered to pay restitution to IRS in the amount of the tax loss that he caused.

IRS Enforcement Efforts and Potential Penalties

Whether you are preparing your own tax return or seeking the assistance of a professional, it is important that you ensure that the utmost care is taken to comply with existing internal revenue laws. Although a tax preparer can be liable for penalties and interest related to the incorrect preparation of taxes, the taxpayer is nonetheless responsible for the underlying tax liability or the repayment of any refund that was inappropriately issued.

This story is larger than tax preparation, as it is a stark reminder that the IRS does take criminal tax enforcement matters seriously. Whether you are a tax preparer or simply a taxpayer that may have failed to file their taxes for one or many years, the IRS has mechanisms in place to contact and investigate non-compliant taxpayers. If you are on the receiving end of the investigatory correspondence, the worst course of action that you can take is to ignore it. On the other hand, contacting an experienced tax defense attorney at the first sign of IRS correspondence could mean the difference between a swift resolution and a criminal tax investigation.

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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