Tax fraud occurs across all business sectors, however accountants are typically a profession you would think would be last to commit tax fraud. Public accountants are one of the professions along with lawyers and doctors that require the highest ethical standards. Typically, a thorough review of an applicant’s background is conducted prior to a state handing out a professional license. Although professionals like accountants consistently keep their promise to maintain high ethical standards, there are a handful that fall into criminal habits. Such is the case in Washington State, where a public accountant was recently indicted on several tax-related charges.
According to several news agencies, Roger A. Stadtmueller, a Washington public accountant, was indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts of federal tax fraud and evasion. The indictment stems from Stadtmueller’s activity between 2009 and 2011 and regards income that he earned from a business that he formed in 2005 and for fraudulent misrepresentations made on his personal tax returns.
According to court documents, Stadtmueller formed Zazz Inc. in 2005 and failed to report nearly $2 million in earned income. A jury also agreed that there was sufficient evidence to bring charges against Stadtmueller related to filing false tax forms in an effort to evade the detection of the IRS with regard to the unreported income. He faces more than 20 years in prison if he is convicted on all eight counts that have been levied against him. Stadtmueller’s criminal trial is set to begin in February of next year.
There are plenty of possible motives that could be behind the defendant’s actions in the above case, but one thing is for sure: the government takes tax fraud and evasion very seriously. The very nature of our self-reporting income tax system gives individuals and businesses an opportunity to cheat and the fact that there are only so many examinations that can be performed means that there is only so much that can be done to stop every tax crook out there. But the fact that you may not get caught should not entice a person to commit illegal acts in an attempt to get ahead. An experienced tax attorney can provide valuable services to an individual or a business that can legally reduce their taxes by ensuring that appropriate credits and deductions are being utilized.
Furthermore, a taxpayer that is being investigated for committing a tax crime should not throw in the towel or attempt to represent himself or herself. The government will often attempt to solicit incriminating information from unrepresented taxpayers during IRS criminal investigations. Those taxpayers that have experienced tax counsel by their side have a much better shot at reducing or eliminating the potential penalties that will be levied against them.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have experience in both complex tax planning and tax controversy and criminal defense. Whether you are trying to increase your bottom line or trying to avoid a lengthy stay in federal prison because of a criminal tax charge, an experienced tax attorney who is also a Certified Public Accountant has the breadth of knowledge and experience to be a zealous advocate for you and your family. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.