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A Department of Justice press release revealed that a Virginia tax professional recently pleaded guilty to evading her own federal income tax obligations. This story should remind taxpayers that regardless of your professional status or income level, the tax laws apply to all U.S. taxpayers equally and the potential consequences of breaking tax laws can be devastating to anyone. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a filed tax return that could not be supported upon an audit, eggshell audit, reverse egg shell audit or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.
According to court records, Willette J. Holland was the owner and operator of Tax Professionals, a firm offering tax preparation services to clients in the Richmond, Virginia area. After being contacted by IRS agents in 2014 about unfiled tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2013, prosecutors alleged that she presented falsified tax returns that underreported gross income and federal income taxes due. Federal prosecutors also alleged that Holland attempted to evade her 2014 federal income tax obligations by utilizing a nominee account for depositing income. Even after being contacted by the IRS, Holland again failed to file federal income tax returns for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.
Holland’s sentencing has been scheduled for later this year. She faces up to five years in federal prison on the tax evasion count. Additionally, she will likely be sentenced to serve a period of supervised release upon the completion of her physical incarceration. Lastly, Holland will almost certainly be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the tax loss that she caused.
Whether you are a wage earner, business owner, government employee, or tax professional, the tax laws apply without exception. Whether you have failed to file a tax return or have filed a tax return with knowingly false contents, the potential civil and criminal exposures necessitate addressing the issue immediately. The IRS has recently gone on a hiring spree to expand the headcount of agents in audit functions. The government’s hiring acceleration means more examinations of individuals and business taxpayers.
The good news is that there are various methods that can be employed to help bring you back into compliance without risk of criminal prosecution even where you intentionally cheated provided you knock on the government’s door before they knock on yours! Working with a seasoned tax attorney, you will jointly identify exposure areas and come to a mutual agreement on the best way to proceed while keeping your physical and financial freedom top of mind. While you are being represented by experienced tax counsel, you will not have to go up against the IRS 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!
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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