According to a Department of Justice press release, a defendant who was convicted of various crimes including impersonating a medical professional and tax evasion was recently sentenced to serve 65 months in federal prison. This story should serve to remind taxpayers that if you intentionally fail to file tax returns, the repercussions will eventually catch up to you. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported upon examination, you should consider consulting with an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible to develop a strategy to come into tax compliance.
Court records reveal that Sonja Emery, formerly of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was sentenced after being convicted of defrauding her employers and evading federal income taxes. Prosecutors argued that Emery held herself out to be a Registered Nurse and having educational qualifications from several different universities in order to secure high-paying healthcare consulting positions. Emery was not a registered healthcare professional and had not attained any of the degrees that she had claimed to have.
Between 2011 and 2018, Emery was hired on at various consulting firms and even a public healthcare agency in California, each position generally paying her in excess of $200,000 per year. In order to evade federal income tax, Emery provided stolen social security numbers to employers and claimed that she was exempt from federal income tax withholding. During the years at issue, Emery did not file a federal tax return or pay any taxes associated with her income. The IRS estimated that the tax loss associated with her scheme exceeded $400,000.
In addition to her 65-month federal prison sentence, Emery was ordered to serve three years of supervised release. Additionally, Emery will be required to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $697,000. Finally, Emery must repay her previous employers $2.2 million to compensate them for her fraudulent actions.
This story should serve as a reminder to taxpayers who have failed to file a tax return or pay their taxes as required that the tax man will eventually find you on his radar and when he does, the repercussions could be devastating. The good news is that the IRS has identified that many Americans have fallen behind on their tax filings and tax payments. In response to this problem, the government has established various programs and options to help you come into compliance with your tax obligations.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported if challenged by the IRS, it is in your best interest to seek the counsel of an experienced tax defense attorney. Being represented by a seasoned tax lawyer means not having to go up against the IRS alone. Together, you will establish the pertinent facts and circumstances of your case and mutually agree upon the best path toward getting right with the government.
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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