It may not seem like a big deal to simply skip paying taxes one year or to intentionally underpay what one owes to the federal government. In reality, any attempt to deliberately avoid paying taxes is a crime, and it is punishable by extensive time behind bars. It is a serious crime that merits a strong defense, and those under investigation or charged with this activity would be wise to take their situation seriously.
There are different types of activities that may fall into the category of tax fraud. Financial crime is commonly a white collar offense, something that is taken seriously by both state and federal governments. If convicted, you could face grave consequences that can change the course of your life. With a thoughtfully prepared defense strategy, however, it may be possible to effectively pursue the best possible outcome for your situation.
What is it?
Tax fraud includes the intentional misrepresentation or omission of critical information on a tax return. Law requires each return to include accurate information on income, employment, dependents, assets and more. Examples of common ways people may commit tax fraud include:
- Failure to file the tax return
- Misrepresentation of the amount of debt or income
- Failure to pay back tax debt
- Underreporting on any revenue stream
- Preparing and filing a false return
- Falsely claiming tax deductions or tax credits
Both businesses and individuals can commit tax fraud. Estimates suggest that tax fraud is responsible for the government’s loss of millions of dollars each year, and these cases are typically prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Is a mistake a crime?
There is a difference between making a mistake and intentionally committing a crime. The U.S. tax laws are complex, and mistakes are understandable and common. There may still be an investigation into your financial situation, and you may have to pay back what you owe along with penalties. Making a mistake on your taxes does not mean you will automatically end up behind bars.
Whether you are under investigation for allegedly committing tax fraud or already charged with this crime, you deserve to know your legal options. You are entitled to a presumption of innocence and a defense. Through your thoughtfully prepared defense plan, you can confront the case against you, challenge the evidence and fight for your freedom and long-term interests.